Wednesday July 8 2009
■ Crew leader Ismail Smit always tries to get the best out of his team.
■ The Mitchell’s Plain dragonboat crew that took part in the Youth Day regatta at the V&A Waterfront.
PICTURES: DUNCAN VAN NIEKERK
PICTURE: JOHN TEE
■ Moegsien Jacobs displays some of his team’s medals
■ The Mitchell’s Plain Allstar Dragons take to the water during a training session.
Mitchell’s Plain dragonboat racers shine at Youth Day paddling Regatta From page 24 Rocklands High School and the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum also took part in the Youth Day Regatta. The team from Ethel’s Place, a shelter from the destitute in Eastridge, won the novice section. “People race for many reasons but I think it is the discipline, the challenge, the team work and just being out on the water that keeps people doing it,” said Jacobs. “Since the first Youth day Regatta last year, more black youngsters are taking part in the sport,” said Jacobs. One student has been involved in racing for more than seven years now, and has moved from drummer boy to a club manager. Ismail Smit started in Grade 10 under the tutelage of Jacobs and now runs the Drachen Hari-yoshi club. “I began as a boy because I liked to socialise and communicate with groups. I didn't really like individual sports and this was an easy way for me to express myself. And I really enjoyed the racing aspect of the sport,” said Smit. “Take it from me, when you involve yourself in this sport you surround yourself with good people, positive people,” said Smit. “It is the individual's choice if they want to become a success or if they want to fail. I chose to go into dragonboat racing and be positive, and I brought my friends with me.” Smit attends False Bay College where he is studying boat building. He is designing a competitive dragonboat racing oar that can be produced in South Africa and sold throughout the world. Upon completion, the oar will be sent to the International Dragonboat Federation for approval for competition. There are more than 450 people involved in dragonboat racing in Cape Town with 12 participating club teams. Once a month, the clubs participate in a competition held down at the V&A Waterfront, and most teams practise once or twice a week to prepare. Each boat has 20 participants that make up its crew; 18 paddlers, one drummer facing the paddlers, usually the beginner or youngest on the team, and one sweep who stands at the rear of the boat and is in charge of guiding it and keeping it from harm.
“If you just want to watch or are thinking about getting involved, you can come to the V&A Waterfront on a Saturday morning and there are a host of dragon boaters there and we
will welcome you with open arms,” says Smit. ● For more information call Moegsien Jacobs on 078 368 7536 or Ismail Smit on 074 222 9885.
Your R25 entry fee will feed 21 children
SUNDAY 30 AUGUST 2009 Closing date for entries - 16 August 2009 WALK DISTANCES: 5KM / 10KM / 20KM ENTER ONLINE AT www.psfa.org.za