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Namibia Canoe Federation - Dragon Boat Races - Avis dam (25. April 2007)

On Saturday, 14th April 2007, a colourful scene and much activity greeted visitors to the Avis Dam. The second Dragon Boat Race was held at the Avis Dam, organized by the Namibia Canoe Federation.

The Namibia Canoe Federation is affiliated to the International Canoe Federation and is also in Namibia affiliated to the Namibia Sports Commission and the Namibia National Olympic Commission. 

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The idea for Dragon Boat races started four years ago in France where our Canoe Polo team had the opportunity to paddle in a big Dragon Boat competition, the team won the race (a combined team with some French Dragon Boat paddlers). We are trying for a few years to develop canoeing in Namibia, but due to the lack of water and also people not being able to swim only a small group of people can be involved in Canoeing. In the last four years we frantically were looking for boats for Namibia to begin to develop this sport. Last year in December we heard of a lady in Cape Town selling three boats and five us pooled the money. (N$215000) for the three boats and the equipment. 

In South-Africa a big group of people used these boats to do events and get money for themselves. We decided from the beginning our aim is for development and use the fundraising events for building/buying of boats to develop also throughout Namibia. The plan is to get boats in Rehoboth (Oanob dam), Walvis Bay, Keetmanshoop and Rundu for a start.

Dragon Boat racing is the biggest growing canoe sport in the world and at the next Olympic Games will be a demonstration sport. Hoping that in future it will become an Olympic Discipline and the big plus would then be more money for development of the sport. 

Dragon boat racing is done in a boat where 16-20 people paddle together with a steersman and also a drummer on the boat. Races are over 200-500metres and every person wears a life jacket. What is wonderful about this is that even if you have never paddled before you can do this and it is a fantastic fun event but also ideal teambuilding.

We are planning the next big event in September at the Avis dam and interested persons can contact me: Margie Jacobie, 
tel.  + 264 (0)61 228648/227104 or 
      +264(0)81 268 8846.

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