There is really nothing much to do in the middle of a reservoir after each heat except wait for the next one to begin. Everything seems to stand still. It is the kind of stillness that brings a vibrant quality to the breeze that carries with it a sense of peace.
It is exactly during these moments of just sitting and waiting on the catamaran (or rubber boat if the catamaran is not working) that I stare into a vast expanse of water. A backdrop of trees with brown leaves burnt by the sun completes the picture that is being etched in my mind. Then I look up and notice the clear sky. And this is when I realize, again, that this is exactly one of the reasons why this sport makes me feel much closer to nature.
Seven years of active training in dragon boat rowing have given me a treasure trove of memories that include beautiful sunrises. I have rowed in different bodies of water, each one unique and nestled in breathtaking landscapes. Each place has made me yearn to see more.
It more than makes sense, therefore, why the International Olympic Committee has included sports and the environment as one of the pillars of the Olympic Movement. It even revised its mission and role to include the following:
“to encourage and support responsible concern for environmental issues, to promote sustainable development in sport and to require that the Olympic Games are held accordingly…”
Almost all sporting activity I know, if not all, rely heavily on the environment. In the Philippines alone, the Rowing team feels the weight of the sorry state of Pasig River. Around the world, athletes are feeling the effects of climate change, which is perhaps one of the reasons why sports luminaries and organizations are actively campaigning to help raise awareness on environmental issues and promote sustainable development.