Sunday, 21 July 2013

Entry 1: Rich Smith Daily Diary: Sunday 21st July 2013

We had a fantastic first day at the training/practice sessions for the Teams at the fabulous Maty-er Olympic Stadium in Szeged in the build-up to the 2013 IDBF 11th World Nations Dragon Boat Championships.

First interview was with George Draskoy, a Hungarian born and still paddling aged 83 who was acting as translator for the Canadian Mixed Team. What a fantastic inspiration (and a thoroughly nice man) he is. He paddles with Grand Dragons in Vancouver, a DB Club named so because everyone in the Club is a Grandad (see www.granddragon.org). Then came Alex McLain, again from Canada (see our earlier blog on him) who was working as a sports massage therapist (see www.ifixdragons.com), followed by a great meeting with some of the many Hungarian Volunteers who have helped to support the Teams during the training/practice sessions with interviews with Daniel Szekeres and also an Official supporting the training/practice sessions (Fanni Nemeth) who is also a keen Paddler.

Great people, great energy... what a Sport!

The Italian, Iranian and German Teams were on the water during the interviews (who all looked impressive and full of energy for the competition) and I hope to be able to catch them for interviews later in the week. However, today the Canadians were here in large numbers, hence our focus which finished with meeting the Under 24 Men's and Women's Teams with their respective coaches (Andrew Milnet and Ben Choi) and some pretty impressive cheering!

With a couple of action paddling shots of both of the Canadian U24 Teams and also the multiple gold medal winning Hungarian hosts Premier Open Men's Team with great power and stamina over the 2000m distance, it was fitting the last interview of the day was with the Home Team and final interview of the day with one of their Crew (Wichmann Barua) who actually lives and works in Bromley (London, UK) only a few miles miles away from where I live!

A great day and we have not even started racing yet! :)

Then, as if by magic, two of the key people responsible for the planning and organising of the Championships appeared on cue (Hungarian Dragon Boat Federation President, Peter Jarosi and IDBF Chief Official, Mike Thomas together with Sue Thomas IDBF Secretariat).

They suspiciously joined up with myself and Belief Sport TV Producer, Phil Keeler just when the lovely smell of Hungarian food was being served to us for dinner, but I am not complaining... I was 'hungry in Hungary!' We were well looked after by the lovely Sophie and the rest of the catering staff. Sophie has been a great support to Phil and I helping us to get settled in quickly and even found me a kayak to go for a paddle in on the wonderful water close by. Thank you Hungary!

Anyway, time to go and get ready for another exciting day of training/practice on the water.

Stay tuned in to all the action at www.beliefsport.tv, interact on twitter @beliefglobal, #dragboattv and Belief Global Facebook.

Paddle hard, keep smiling, Rich :-)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rich, I loved the interview with George Draskoy. Re: your interview with Wichmann Barua from Bromley. Look out for Peter Li from the GB Masters Team, he arrived today. He is my husband and we also live and work in Bromley! Looking forward to watching more interviews :)

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