There’s a new group of paddlers in Bohol that is starting to make waves. Composed of young lady professionals and students, the BAJI ladies’ team appears headed for bigger worlds ahead. Baji, which is the vernacular for woman, was formed in Bohol last January in answer to the call for lady volunteers to try out for dragon boating. This would be in preparation for Bohol’s hosting of the 2nd Cobra-PDBF International Club Crew Challenge this April 2013.
And what a joyride it has been for these ladies in the newest craze in town! From a group of curious babes-in-the-woods, these fun-loving ladies have morphed into a serious competitive lot. The ladies are energy, enthusiasm and excitement personified. They’ve undergone the same back-breaking training that was dished out to the men. And they have been giving their male counterparts in Bohol a run for their money. And now they’re looking forward to gaining more experience in the months to come.
BAJI was nurtured from infancy by veteran dragon boat internationalist, Annabelle Tario. Coach Anabs, as she is fondly called, did a one-month training stint in Bohol in preparation for the dragon boat festivities, and her presence has proven beneficial for BAJI. In building their confidence, developing camaraderie, improving their skills and stamina, and finally, creating a distinct and refreshing BAJI culture.
Some of the women had answered the call initially for the fitness and exercise. Some tried it mainly out of curiousity. Others simply cared for the novelty. And there was the initial apprehension borne out of the anticipated gender-bias in a sport that was supposedly pure grunt and grimace.
But under Coach Anabs’ watchful eyes, the transformation in their minds and bodies begun. Lingering doubts began to fade. Muscle tones became more defined. Aches and pains, they’d eat for breakfast. The can-do spirit shone even brighter. BAJI was now on a roll.
Leading the bubbly pack is their team manager, Dr Joanne Flores, a dentist who’s fondness for outdoor sports clearly shows. Providing the muscle and discipline is the team captain, Atty Rainne Calimbayan, a legal angel stationed in Tagbilaran. Expect BAJI to give their all at the 2nd Cobra-PDBF International Club Crew Challenge this April 28-29.
The 2nd Cobra Challenge is produced jointly by the Provincial Government of Bohol, the Department of Tourism, the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, Tapok Tapok Bol-anon, Cobra, Philex Mines, Smart, Sandugo Foundation and Cetaphil, in cooperation with K & N Productions, Bohol Paddlers Association, Tagbilaran City, and the municipalities of Dauis and Maribojoc.
The major sponsors for this first-ever event in Bohol are: Bluewater Panglao, Sunlife, Sun Cellular, First Consolidated Bank, Hyundai and Zookolate Thrills. Other sponsors include Oishi, 2Go Travel, Adnama Mining, Starlite, Eskaya, Ramasola Studios and Island Prints. The media partners are: Manila Bulletin, Sports Digest, Philippine Star, Business Mirror, TV5, Solar Sports, Sports Unlimited, The Bohol Chronicle, DYRD, and DZRH.