Time for some good news. In case you missed it, the Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADS) Dragon Boat Team recently finished the prestigious International Dragon Boat Federation’s 13th Club Crew World Championships in Sarasota, Florida with no less than four golds in total!
The Cebuano paddlers made history by ruling the small boat (SB) Paradragon (PD)-1 Open category, SB/PD2 200-meter race, and SB/PD-2 2,000-meter race last week —clinching three gold medals in all. As if such impressive performances were not enough, the team bagged another gold medal in the 500-meter race in the Small Boat-Para Dragon 2 category by completing the race in just two minutes and 19.015 seconds.
The PADS Dragon Boat Team bested the Z99 Para Fusion and Z99 Para United. The former finished second at a 2:29:840 mark, while the latter was at a 2:29:548 record. In just a span of a week, the team that is mainly composed of Cebuanos earned a total of four gold medals in one of the world’s biggest dragon boat competitions.
Get to Know the PADS Dragon Boat Team
The team’s victory is surely worth celebrating because they are the first Filipino and first Asian para dragon boat team who have competed – not to mention, won gold medals – in the Club Crew World Championship’s Para Dragon Boat Category.
With this, they are now considered the pioneers in the Club Crew World Championships’ Para Dragon Boat Category since IDBF added the category in this year’s competition. Such a category was specifically added to welcome athletes with disabilities and persons with impairments to showcase their talents and skills.
This sweet victory is indeed worth all their efforts, as the Cebuano paddlers almost didn’t make it to the world competition because of the lack of financial support. In fact, they had to even make an appeal to the public and the government to earn funds for their flight going to Sarasota, Florida in order to represent the country. Truly, PADS’ historic feat did not only bring pride to the Cebuano community, it also served as an inspiration to those struggling that no matter how difficult life is, fate does favor the bold of heart.