Random Thoughts: ATeam – UAE Dragon Boat Team

What makes a great team?

Unity. Teamwork. Perseverance. Faith. Belief. Common Goal. Strong Leadership. Friendship. Fun.

unityAll that I observed, ATeam has.


I’m not really into dragon boat and in fact I was initially against it when my husband said he wanted to join. 😉 It’s an early morning work out, practice, long hours, even days, spent when they have a race, plus I thought it will eat up and ruin our weekend routine. But because my husband is really persevering (in tagalog, makulet!) and I guess wanted to try a new sport since he don’t go to the gym anymore and stopped playing ps3 ;-), a new hobby and sport will be good!

After months of him joining and attended 2 or 3 races, this is the first time that we (Me and little one) joined him at the 9th Shangri-la Abu Dhabi Dragon Boat Festival. I thought it can be our weekend staycation too plus we get to see what dragon boat race really is 😉 and as well as meet his team mates.

We drove to Abu Dhabi early morning and headed straight to the race venue (thank you to Traders Hotel for accommodating and checking us in very early!). The Dragon Boat Festival is really cool, there’s live DJ, drinks (yes, beers!) and bbq available, all teams setting up their own tents and banners. It’s just so nice to see teams very proud wearing their own uniform, doing their practice/work out routine, shouting their cheer and simply having fun. It’s like our intramurals or sports fest back in school! (reminiscing!)


So it’s really heart pounding watching the race and I just have to commend all racers. I mean dragon boat is a tough sport! The time you spent under the heat of the (UAE) sun holding that paddle, playing with the heavy and unpredictable mood of the water! Wow! I can’t see myself doing it because I really hate when I sweat (except when I’m at the air conditioned gym) lol and I don’t want to get dark! (No, I’m not that vain, I just take care of my skin. ;-))

But the paddlers, WOW! Especially the A Team, women, who by the way bagged the championship award of Ann Butler’s Memorial Women’s Dragon Boat Race. Hooray! 😉 I’m not even a member and yet I’m really very proud of them.


Yep, ATeam award is not only one but 3. They won both 3rd place on Premier Mixed and Premier Women’s. Not really bad! Had they not experienced a small accident during one race, I’m sure they will be on the 1st!


There was an after party too attended by some teams who I guess still have the strength left after a whole day paddling in the sun. 😉 The next day was another set of race and awarding. Me and our Reese stayed most of the time at the hotel and at the nearby souq since we both don’t want to sweat and enjoys indoor better. Too bad we couldn’t stay any longer until the awarding ceremony since the following day is school day, so the little one has to rest and complete her homework.

Oh before I forget, shout out goes to their Coach Ariel who is one tough (looking) man (literally!) ;-). It takes a strong leader to lead a team to the top. And with what I saw, he is doing a great job. So hats off to you coach!

The only lacking (running my HR and Engagement mind here!) is for them to have a very good Admin who can collect sponsorships. In this case, they will have all what they need and be able to join more races. I told my husband, I’m willing to share my baking skills next time if they needed to raise fund! That’s all I can do for now, and don’t force me to join because at 4 am when they wake up, I will still be in lala land. 😉

Mabrouk ATeam. Keep it up!

Cheers to the ATeam Women! Guys…you’re behind the girls! 😉 😆

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