January provides the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and the experiences we enjoyed and learnt from, both in our working and personal lives. What experiences in 2011 enabled you to grow and develop? For me, it was leading a team of Diocesan students to victory in a Dragon Boating Challenge.
I started coaching Dragon Boating in 2007 after being invited by Busting With Life, a woman’s breast cancer survivor’s team. I had just spent the previous year as their sweep, working with the coach of the corporate dragon boat team I had been a member of for seven years. Apart from five years of waka-ama outrigger canoe training, I had little coaching experience to offer but trained under an excellent coach. With a little trepidation, I then proceeded to take Busting With Life to win three consecutive nationals competitions.
Dragon Boating and breast cancer research has an interesting history which can be read in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Besides the physiotherapeutic benefits researched here, I can attest to the social benefits, and I have no doubt there are psychological benefits to a team sport amongst members who have gone through traumatic experiences and live in fear of its reoccurrence.
Sean Ogden leads the Diocesan School for Girls Dragon Boating team to victory
Over the years my team of women have become family. One is the sister-in-law of Jo Robertson, the Leadership Programme Director of Diocesan School for Girls. When I was asked if I could help with coaching year 10 girls in a Dragon Boating Challenge, I was more than willing. Not only was this an opportunity for the girls, the Auckland Dragon Boating Association (ADBA) and the sport in general, but it was an opportunity for me to test my abilities to convey what I had learned in leading a dragon boat team. This was not just a coaching exercise. I was not being asked to baby-sit. I was being asked to teach these girls what it takes to succeed.
Leadership is a quality that HealthLink actively encourages in its employees and since the Dragon Boating event was in syngery, HealthLink had no problem donating my time to the cause.
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