The Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) Team finally reached the shores of Hungary, after tense moments over fund constraints and visa difficulties. Led by the PDBF President herself, Ms Marcia Cristobal, and Sec Gen Pinky Castillo, the Philippine Team to the 11th IDBF World Dragon Boat Championship arrived in Szeged, Hungary just a day before competition was to start.
Upon arrival, the players had to rush to the registration, and to the Team Manager’s meet. A short parade at the city square followed. The Philippine Team had a lot of cheerers along the way, with players from other teams taking turns having their photos taken with Team Philippines. Upon reaching the Olympic Center for the Opening Ceremony, the team was once again met by supporters and fans who just wanted to have souvenir pics with the team. Ambassador Eleanor Jaucian came all the way from the Embassy in Budapest to cheer for the team, and she was visibly pleased at the stature accorded to them.
Over thirty countries are represented in the tourney, with the Philippines out to compete with the best of the best in the premier, mixed and the women’s (small boat) categories. The water wars will commence today, July 24, with their first race at 11:30 am in the mixed 2000 meters.
The team’s participation in this event, the Dragon Boat equivalent to the Olympics, would not have been possible if not for the support of well-meaning groups led by Cobra Energy Drink and the MVP group of companies.
For those anxious to get results of the competition, you can watch the games on LiveStream at www.livestream.com/idbfdragon.