IMBAders, it's go-time

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The fearless IMBAder Morxay mounts the top of the official, decorated dragon boat as the flag catcher in a show of confidence at the latest Dragon Boat practice.

IMBAders, it's go-time!
The Dragon Boat competition is on for Thursday, June 25th and Friday, June 26th of 2020. After some deliberation, the competition is going to be held despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is thanks to Taiwan's rapid and effective response to the outbreak. Good news for Dragon Boat teams gearing up to participate in the century's old tradition. The IMBAders will take their place among the prestigious Dragon Boat competitors at DaJia River Park (台北市大佳河濱公園龍舟碼頭) over the June Holiday weekend.
Led by Dragon Boat captain Second-Year Jim Lai, the team is making the necessary preparations to be worthy adversaries to the competition. One such preparation is increasing the frequency of practice. While challenging, this will prove the IMBAders are up to par with more experienced teams. What started as a friendly, recreational club has now turned into an opportunity for glory.
The reigns of the Dragon Boat will eventually be handed over to First-Year student Isaac Chua of Malaysia. He has been a crucial aide to Jim in leading Dragon Boat training and organization. He represented the IMBAders at the drawing and now it is official. The IMBAders will be facing off against three teams, including the EMBA. The first of planned victories.
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The other teams are pros, many of them having been formed years ago. Isaac believes the team needs to train hard in the last month to be ready. Students' class schedules plus inclement weather has posed challenges for the IMBAders. Still, they persist. "Jim and I plan to have a least one training per week. We [are also working] with the coach for strategy” There will be individual and optional trainings held in the school gyms now that they are open. Led by Jim, Isaac, Francisco Lopez, Phillip McDaniels, and Aileen Calix. When asked if he thinks we're up to the competition, Isaac stated:
"We have a good, diverse unit but we need to push ourselves harder. The other teams are competitive and we want to look like we know what we're doing. The Dragon Boat Club has given the IMBA program a team to cheer for that is closer to us than other NCCU teams.”
When asked if the team will be ready Isaac gave his now well-known, usual reply: "Of course, dude!"
Of course. The morale has been boosted by the news and everyone is excited to use their hard work. At a mid-May practice, the IMBAders even challenged another team practicing their skills on the water. The ‘friendly’ race was all but friendly as the IMBAders took off and trounced the competition from the start. Winning gets everyone excited. First-Year student Francisco Lopez of Honduras has emerged as one of the leaders of the team. He had this to say:
"The energy starts to boil in the spirit of the rowers. Some have consistently attended practice, while some haven’t been able. Regardless, we all get to experience the warmth, camaraderie, and decisiveness that their coordination requires. A group bikes two hours all the way to MAJI Square. Then we row restlessly for two hours. Sweat drips down under the hot sun for the entire training, but we are IMBAders and IMBAde we shall. We have competed, we have practiced, we have fixed our mistakes... now, we are ready to go out to the Taipei Dragon Boat competition to give it all and show that regardless of our spot on a table, we are more than that. We are cheerful, dedicated, decisive, we learn from our mistakes, and most of all we know how to enjoy the competition."

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A full IMBAder team takes to the river and focus as they receive instructions to improve on their technique. This is one of the many combinations of team members used. The actual team and positioning is still being determined.

After not fielding a team last year, this year's team has a lot to prove - to current and past IMBAders, NCCU, and the Taipei community as a whole.  Captain Jim has worked hard in generating interest, buzz, and participation in the Dragon Boat team and we're excited to see it pay off. The pressure is now on the team to come together for training, team spirit, and the competition itself to deliver an effort we can all be proud of.
One advantage, at least in spirit, is the team's diversity. The team is a reflection of the Internationality of the IMBA. This increases interest in the competition and participation in terms of fun and excitement.
The full roster of local and international superstars:
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The IMBAders are encouraging everyone to come out and support the team. We are under a month away from the holiday as it approaches. The IMBAder spirit needs to be carried throughout. Supporters are welcomed to show up, make signs, shirts, etc. supporting the team and program. Be heard and cheer on the team along the river! No matter the result it will be rewarding. The challenge has been accepted. And the spirit of the team is reaching a peak. It's go-time, IMBAders. IMBAde, we shall.

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All smiles as the team shows their excitement and enthusiasm for the competition and all of the hard work they’ve put in thus far.
Here are the links to the Dragon Boat and to support the team:
The Dragon Boat team would like to extend thanks to our sponsors who have allowed us to compete:
好家庭毛巾 / TopTowel
鋅宏團體服股份有限公司 / NewCap
Lunch Box
Energy Drink
蠻牛 / Paolyta