Group wants to introduce dragon boat racing in Cebu

February 8, 2015 10:06 am 

CEBU CITY, Feb. 7 — Two sports enthusiasts want to introduce Dragon Boat Racing to Cebu and hope Cebuanos will take to the sport that way they have taken up triathlon.

Gen. Carlos Holganza and Alfonso Alvarez, the leaders of Dragon Boat Cebu Central Philippines, hope to make Cebu the Dragon Boat Capital of the country, owing to its strategic location.

Alvarez said dragon boat racing has already spread to Pangasanin, Zambales, Camarines Sur, Boracay, Davao City, Laoag City and just recently, Bohol.

And now it's Cebu's turn.

"Cebu has lots of spots that could host dragon boat racing and it could be the place where world-class athletes could be trained," said Alvarez.

Holganza, who started dragon boat racing in Bohol two years and branched out to Davao, said those who took up the sport just recently were able to compete internationally.

"The Filipinos are a force to be reckoned with in the world and are feared in dragon boat. This is the sport where we can excel. We do not need height in this sport but coordination, teamwork and unity," said Holganza.

The pair has already approached officials from Cebu City and province and the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation for their project in Cebu.

However, they admit they face a lot of challenge.

"The challenge in starting is the boat, because a competition boat costs P400,000, while a training boat costs P220,000. Right now, we have ordered two from Manila," said Holganza.

Alvarez said the national team recently finished second of 15 countries in china last year with two gold medals in five events.

"This goes to show our potential in dragon boat. This is growing in the country and Cebu has to be in the map," he said.

Alvarez said Cebu is perfect because of its location.

"The waters in Cebu is clean, we have an international airport, we have the hotels and we have the Cebuanos, plus those from Bohol and Dumaguete, who can engage into this sport," he said.

They have already identified possible venues for dragon boat racing such as the South Road Properties, Liloan, Bogo and Bantayan Island and the two want to bring an international competition in Cebu.

"An international competition is really our culminating event. We will be bringing in teams from other countries to compete here. We will now another sport that will put Cebu in the international map, again," he said. (PNA)

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