1. There is a great possibility that the Philippine Dragon Boat team may not make it to the World Championships because of politics. Do you believe that the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), International Olympic Committee (IOC), Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation (PCKF) and International Canoe Federation (ICF) contributed much to put the Philippine team in such a predicament ?
The decision of the POC to recommend that the Philippine Sport Commission shift funding related to dragon boat from the PDBF to the PCKF indicates it does not fully understand the history of dragon boating in the Philippines and the great success enjoyed by the PDBF national teams at the World Championships. The POC essentially has pulled the rug out from the PDBF, an organization which for years has provided outstanding representation of the Philippines at the World Championships recognized by Asian Olympic Council and Sport Accord.
2. Is government funding crucial for a sport like dragon boat ?
As with any sport requiring international travel, if you want a successful team, funding must be provided for the young athletes who will represent the country.
3. How and when did ICF gain jurisdiction over dragon boat as a sport ?
The ICF does not have jurisdiction over dragon boat. The ICF claim of jurisdiction is disturbing when it is clear that another organization the IDBF developed the sport to its current international status and is recognized by Sport Accord, the international sports organization, as the controlling body for dragon boat. The ICF has been on a campaign to absorb water sports that have been created, nurtured and developed with zero support or involvement from the ICF. The ICF is also doing the same with outrigger canoeing and surf ski.
4. How important are the coaches and team officials in creating a world champion ?
The coach in a team sport like dragon boat is the single most important factor in the success of the team. The coach must attract the athletes capable of winning and motivate them to train and work together for the unified purpose of victory.
5. Which sport body do you think contributed the most to the Philippine Dragon Boat Team crisis ?
If you go back into the history of dragon boat in the early 1980’s when it was first on the rise as an international sport, the ICF rejected proposals to assume control over the sport stating it was not a canoe sport. The sport then fully developed on its own through the hard work of the IDBF and its popularity surged past the traditional canoe and kayak sports controlled by the ICF. The decision of new leadership in the ICF to then declare control over dragon boat is the root cause of the crisis in the Philippines. Without that declaration we would not have come to the point where the PCKF believed it could take over the sport in the Philippines. The real tragedy in all of this is the effect on the great paddlers of the PDBF.
6. Was there a directive to the POC from the IOC to put the Philippine Dragon Boat Team under the Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation ?
Not going to answer this one as I am not 100% clear.
7. What do you think is the best solution to the crisis ?
The POC should reverse its decision and recommend restoration of funding to the PDBF.
8. Do you expect the Philippine Dragon Boat Team to make it to the World Championships in Tampa, Florida despite the present crisis ?
It is hard to imagine the PDBF being able to come up with the resources required to bring the same level of team to the World Championships as before. It would seem that they would only be able to recruit paddlers who have the ability to afford the travel as opposed to being able to pick the best athletes regardless of their financial situation.
9. What can you advice Philippine sports officials in view of the current situation surrounding the Philippine Dragon Boat Team ?
Philippine sports officials need to carefully look at what they are tearing apart, the PDBF teams have represented the Philippine nation in an outstanding fashion in my opinion. Not only are these teams winning and setting world records, the athletes are of the finest character and well respected by their competitors from across the globe. Sports officials should act in the best interest of the athletes and that does not seem to be the case here.
Monday, June 20, 2011
D.r Robert McNamara is the head coach of the U.S. dragon boat team. He is likewise the chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine of Temple University School of Medicine. In an exclusive interview, Dr. McNamara dissects the crisis and controversy hounding the Philippine dragon boat team.
Posted by efd at 9:02 PM