Ten paddlers from the Deaf Dragons, a competitive dragon boat team set up for persons with disabilities (PwD), set a new Singapore record by paddling more than 250km within 24 hours – the longest distance covered by a dragon boat indoor rowing relay team in one day.
The paddlers came together from 5pm on May 16 to 5pm on May 17 at DBS Tampines Central Branch. Of the ten paddlers, one of them is hearing impaired and two are intellectually challenged.
“As someone who is hearing impaired, I never give up on any opportunities given to me,” said team member Jimmy Chan, who is hearing impaired.
Ffity other supporters, including family, friends, fellow competitors and walk-ins also paddled alongside the Deaf Dragons, using the two other indoor rowing machines available.
Collectively, the participants paddled 650km within 24 hours. As a result of the participants’ efforts on May 16 and 17, DBS will donate S$65,000 towards supporting inclusive sports in Singapore. With dollar-for-dollar matching by the Community Chest, participants raised a total of S$130,000 within 24 hours.
The Deaf Dragons were taking part in DBS’ Paddle for Good initiative, which aims to raise awareness and support for inclusive sports in Singapore. On May 30, Paddle for Good will be open for public participation at the DBS Marina Regatta, and event-goers will be able to form teams with and paddle alongside PwDs and the Deaf Dragons.
Organised in partnership with social enterprise Society Staples, the event simulates a dragon boat race, using indoor ergometer machines instead of boats. For every one kilometre paddled then, DBS will donate S$100 to three organisations – SPD, Asian Women’s Welfare Association and MINDS.
These organisations will use the funds to organise sports activities for PwDs. Donations will also be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Care and Share movement led by Community Chest.
“One of the objectives for the DBS Marina Regatta is to celebrate the human spirit and to build an inclusive society through sports. Paddle for Good is one example where we encourage people from all walks of life, from all age groups and backgrounds, to come together to paddle for a worthwhile cause,” said Managing Director and Head of Group Strategic Marketing and Communications DBS Bank, Karen Ngui.