Racing with dragons: Students paddle in the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

For the first time ever, students from CSU’s Asian/Pacific American Cultural Center participated in the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan’s Lake in Denver. With 15 years under its belt, the festival celebrates and promotes the culture, contributions and accomplishments of Colorado’s Asian/Pacific American communities.

The students, led by second-year student Annie Ngo, took third overall in the 250-meter race July 19 in the Hong Kong Style Division. Students from CSU, UNC and CU made up the 20 paddlers and a drummer. The boats, which are meant for competitive racing, were roughly 40 feet in length. The boat was directed by a steersman in the back who helped keep the students on course to the finish line.

Practice makes perfect

The students spent the summer practicing in community pools and at the Aurora Reservoir.

“Our practices were fun and challenging at times,” said Ngo. “We shared many great laughs to keep each other inspired and focused most of our time on the synchronization of our paddles.”

Ngo, who came to CSU in the summer of 2014, sought out the Asian/Pacific American Cultural Center at Ram Orientation. “I really wanted to be connected with the Asian community up here, and the cultural center has just been so helpful!”

A/PACC partnered with Admissions, the Alumni Center and the Office of Parent & Family Programs to host a booth at the festival both days, July 18 and 19. For more information about the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, visit the website.