‘Train hard, play hard’ is Masterpiece Dragon Boat Team–Qatar’s mantra! The team believes that all members must work hard to achieve their goals and at the same time must make sure that they enjoy and love what they do, because according to the Masterpiece paddlers, “nothing compares to a resounding laugh after a hardcore training!”
Nearly six years since its establishment in Qatar, Masterpiece DBTQ has already gained numerous awards from both local and international competitions. Now with 82 members and growing in confidence with every race they compete in, the team is looking forward to joining more races, in fact, Masterpiece’s 22 paddlers will try to achieve another milestone when it competes in the Euro Cup Dragon Boat Race 2021 which will take place from 9-11 December 2021.
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team caught up with the team manager, Angie Libradilla, to know more about Masterpiece Dragon Boat Team–Qatar (DBTQ) and their upcoming competition in this interview.
Angie: Masterpiece Dragon Boat Team–Qatar (DBTQ) is one of the most active, recognized, and well-known amateur sports organisations in Qatar. It is a non-profit organisation that was created primarily to encourage and inspire Filipino expatriates in Qatar to get involved in community programmes, particularly sports. Eventually, Masterpiece opened its door to other nationalities to further maximize and enhance human connection by promoting inclusivity, diversity, and to introduce the importance of physical and mental health through exercise, camaraderie, and friendship-building through the sport of dragon boating.
The Masterpiece Dragon Boat Team–Qatar was established in 2016 by our head coach Gerald Monzon along with other 13 founding members. The team is also a proud affiliate of the Qatar Dragon Boat Association. Over the years, Masterpiece Dragon Boat Team–Qatar has grown as a larger network and consistently participates in both local and international races.
Angie: Besides being one of the most exhilarating water team sports, dragon boating gives a high level of adrenaline and helps develop teamwork and discipline amongst paddlers and stakeholders.
Angie: Definitely our yearly participation in both local and international races. Masterpiece DBTQ is a top contender in various local races, as well as the reigning overall champion in the QNB 2020 Qatar Winter Dragon Boat Festival. Another noteworthy achievement was when we participated and emerged victorious in the 2019 Korea Open Dragon Boat Festival in Busan, South Korea.
Angie: The Dragon Boat Festival in Qatar is one of the largest water sporting events in the country. This highly-energetic sport never fails to attract all segments of the community and continuously promotes inclusivity among all expatriates in the country. We hope to see it as a major and regular sporting & tourism event in Qatar.
Angie: For the first time in its history, the Euro Cup Dragon Boat Race will take place outside of Europe and will be held in Dubai. Hosted by the European Dragon Boat Federation, it’s happening from December 9 - 11, 2021. Around 65 teams from 15 countries worldwide will compete for the championship trophy. This event would mark the comeback of International Dragon Boat Festivals after a hiatus due to the global pandemic.
Angie: Masterpiece DBTQ has regular boat training, pool training, and land/gym training spread throughout the week. These training sessions are consistently attended by both official members and the newbies. However, whenever the team is set to compete in a local or international race, we commit ourselves to more rigorous and daily training so as to achieve our targets and goals. Yes, we're training harder these days for the upcoming competition.
Angie: Given the current rigorous training we have in preparation for the Euro Cup 2021, we can say we’re a bit more confident that we will do well in the competition. It’s because aside from focusing on our physical strengthening, we have an excellent coach and coaching staff who are making sure paddlers live up to the international standards.
Although head coach Gerald is currently not here in Qatar, he’s providing and sending the training programmes for the team to execute. We are well-guided by the professionals all throughout our dragon boating journey.
Angie: Right after the EDBF Euro Cup 2021 and the holiday seasons, the team will jump back to training to prepare for the next Winter Dragon Boat Festival here in Qatar which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.
Angie: Yes, we are consistently accepting new members. Everyone can join, with or without experience in paddling as long as they are of legal age. Our team provides basic (recreational) and advanced (competitive) training/paddling to anyone who is interested to join.
Angie: If you would like to try and experience dragon boat sports, we are more than happy to welcome and assist you on our team.
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