Reporting from Monaco, professor Moïse LOUISY-LOUIS
On April 21st, 2012, students and faculty affiliated to International School of Monaco (ISM) and International University of Monaco (IUM) had the privilege to take part of an uncommon event at port Hercule: the kick-off of Dragonboats in Monaco, one of the world’s fastest growing water sports.
This fantastic rowing sport, is practiced in over 60 countries, has an international federation and European Championships (to be held this year in London, prior to the Games) and is currently bidding to be added to the Olympics. Besides, this water sport is a formidable opportunity for individuals from all over the world to meet and exchange, have fun, and sharpen their leadership and team-building skills.
This is exactly the message that Coach Clarence JOHN has sought to explain to debutants. Due to windy conditions, Clarence favored a safe training session in the port. ISM students, Yacht Club members, Olivier and Frederic, and IUM fans, Beverley, Nathan and Moïse all sat down in the boat and tried to paddle in rhythm. Clarence, 500 m world record holder with the US national team since 2007, enthusiastically cheered participants with cadenced paddling orders: “up, stroke, out, up, stroke, out,” etc…
Clarence, a passionate seaman and sports man, nurtures great ambition for his sport and Monaco. As ISM and IUM do, Clarence believes that sports is a formidable tool because it helps to transmit fundamental values (such as fair play and teamwork) at the same time giving participants the opportunity to perform, learn and grow while having fun. As a result, Clarence thinks that getting young minds involved in this fantastic water sport will not only help them with sport but also to become a healthier citizen of Monaco and of the world. Lastly, Monaco is special to Clarence: the Trinidad and Tobago born athlete would like to give back to the Principality (years ago he was given an opportunity to learn this sport at the Rowing club that Princess Grace Kelly’s father, Jo Kelly, started in Philadelphia).
Clarence will now found a Dragonboat club in Monaco, Monaco School Dragons, and hopes to share his passion not only with ISM and IUM students but also with all sport fans.
We would like to sincerely thank all of those who have helped make this event possible, especially Mr. Borea, Yacht Club of Monaco, Annette, Caroline, and Clarence.
If you would like to participate in the next events, please feel free to reach Clarence at firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. Moïse LOUISY-LOUIS (room 303 at the International University of Monaco or at email@example.com)