Training with your eyes closed isn’t your typical sports technique, but Ling Liang Church M. H. Lau Secondary School’s (LLC) dragon boat team practised blindfolded, to get a better feel for the rhythmic drum beat that synchronises their movements.
“Blindfolding was a useful method as we tried not to be visually distracted,” said Cheung Chun-yau, 15. “We then trained to follow the drum beat more closely, so the whole team could move a lot faster.”
LLC’s coach and drummer Lo Sin-hang explained that drummers play a significant spiritual role in addition to their technical role.
“Every drum beat is like a heartbeat which leads the team to move in unison,” said Lo. “Drummers are then able to boost morale and give the team great momentum.”
Another innovative training technique involved tying two heavy tyres to the dragon boat. “These two tyres were designed to test students’ physical strength,” said coach Cheung Hau-chi. “They needed extra power to move the boat.”
LLC’s training methods may have seemed bizarre, but they brought the school success in their debut at the Young Post Hong Kong Inter-school Dragon Boat Championships. The school won a bronze medal in the standard boat (Gold Cup) mixed category, and another bronze in the small boat girls’ division (Gold Cup).