Dragon Boat Race China Employees Motivation Success Posted on 09/13/2017 via BSH Home Appliances Group

Teamwork in the Office and on the Water: BSH China and the Dragon Boat Race

This is the story of BSH China’s dragon boat team and their quest for gold on the Mochou Lake in Nanjing.

The crowds are gathered at the Mochou Lake in Nanjing for the Nanjing Foreign Investment Enterprise Dragon Boat Race. On the water, the colorful dragon boats are lined up for the final. The crowd falls silent. The gun fires and… they’re off. The oars strike the water to the beat of the drum, each team straining hard to break away from the other boats. It’s a fast and furious fight over 400m to the finish. The first dragon boat crosses the line, closely followed by the second and third. In third place, after a spectacular show of teamwork and perseverance, are our very own BSHEA team (BSH Electrial Appliance (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd in China).

The Ancient Tradition of Dragon Boat Racing

Dragon boat racing has really taken off in recent years, with races and festivals popping up all around the world. For those who are unaware of the sport, dragon boats are long rowing boats which are decorated to look like dragons for competitions. The crew of the dragon boat race in Nanjing is smaller compared to that of a standard dragon boat. A standard dragon boat crew typically consists of 22 people, comprising 20 paddlers in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 sweep (in charge of steering the boat) standing at the rear of the boat. The teams competing at the Nanjing Foreign Investment Dragon Boat Race consist of 16 people: 14 paddlers, 1 drummer and a sweep.

Dragon boat racing has a very special place in Chinese culture as it first appeared as an ancient folk ritual between contending villagers in southern China. Dragon boat races and festivals have been held here for more than 2000 years.

A Strong Team On and Off the Water

BSH China has its Headquarters in Nanjing in the Jiangsu province and was founded in 1994. Besides Nanjing there are also production sites in Chuzhou and Wuxi as well as colleagues working in the offices in Hongkong and Taiwan.

What you may not know, however, is that our colleagues based in Nanjing are also a force to be reckoned with on the water – competing in the Nanjing Foreign Investment Enterprise Dragon Boat Race every year for the past 11 years and ranking in the top three for the past three years!

The 2017 Nanjing Foreign Investment Enterprise Dragon Boat Race

The annual Nanjing Foreign Investment Enterprise Dragon Boat Race has been running for the past 17 years. It brings together teams from the various companies based in Nanjing, which have some degree of foreign investment, are joint-ventures or are entirely owned by companies based outside of China. It is a big, all-day event which starts with an official opening ceremony and speeches from local officials and proceeds with heats, semi-finals and culminates in a big final race.

The race took place on the 28th May. The BSHEA raced against 27 other teams and managed to secure a place in the final. They came third and crossed the line a second behind the team that came in second place. It was yet another strong performance from this highly competitive team which has put many hours of blood, sweat, and tears into their training for the past year.

Bringing the Team Together

“It’s a big commitment, to be a part of the team,” says Liu Wei, captain of the dragon boat team.” “We train at the weekends and take a half day out of our working week, every week, to prepare for the race. New team members also take on extra training in their free time,” he says.

But it is all worth it to stand on the podium and collect the cup for third place, “the award and joy that we all felt in that moment, really represented our teamwork and the work that we put into training,” he says. The team has already started preparing for next year’s race and this time they’re going for gold!

“Every year, in the lead up to the race, we start working on the different muscle groups required for pulling the oars – for example, the lumbar muscles,” says Wei. “We get on to the water twice a week in our training boat, which is the same size as our racing boat. On the water, we practice our teamwork and rowing technique to make sure that we are all pulling our oars with the right force,” he says. “Then we work on making sure that we are all pulling our oars in a synchronized way, at the same frequency and speed.” And finally, “we have to build up our endurance as a team, the race is 400m long, so we can’t rely solely on our explosive power, we all need to row as fast as we can, for as long as we can.”

Sport and its Many Benefits

There are many benefits of being part of a team of colleagues striving for a sporting goal together. Training together, for many hours a week, makes teamwork at work easier. Training and competing together can also increase each team member’s desire to continuously improve and strive for personal or professional goals. Sport also has many benefits for the individual, as it boosts self-esteem, energy levels, and mood. So, a team that participates in sport, at any level, is a happy and ambitious one.

For this reason, we encourage and support the teamwork between our colleagues and teams taking part in sports throughout the BSH world. Take Benedikt Huber, for example, he is an engineer for BSH in Germany and one of Germany’s top athletes for 800m. The BSH India team also take part in a marathon. We wish all of our teams a lot of fun, happiness and success in the pursuit of their sporting goals and we’re excited to see our BSH China dragon boat team go for gold next year!

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