PADS dragonboat team gets boost from new coach for upcoming international stint

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | June 23,2023 - 07:15 AM

PADS dragonboat team gets boost from new coach for upcoming international stint. In photo is Coach Harland "Barak" Dimayuga Baraquero. | Photo from PADS

Coach Harland “Barak” Dimayuga Baraquero. | Photo from PADS

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The vaunted Philippine Accessible Disability Service (PADS) dragonboat racing team just got a solid backing from veteran and multi-titled dragonboat coach Coach Harland “Barak” Dimayuga Baraquero for their upcoming international campaign.

PADS is scheduled to compete in the 16th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) World Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Thailand this August 7-13, 2023. 

READ: PADS gets into OCR, has champion para athlete in PH team member Kent Tumangan

Dragonboat coach Baraquero

Baraquero will be supervising the team’s training in the coming weeks leading to the IDBF competition itself. 

Baraquero is one of the best dragonboat paddlers in the country since the 1990s. He became the team captain of the Philippines’ men’s team from 2003 to 2007 and later relocated to Singapore after retiring. 

He revived his dragonboat career in 2009 by forming the Filipino Dragons Singapore as its head coach and helped this team rack up local and international wins. 

This time, this bemedalled paddler will bring his experience, knowledge, and passion to Cebu to oversee PADS’ dragonboat team’s training. 

READ: PADS dragon boat racers brace for loaded 2023

READ: PADS youth teams to compete in Camotes dragon boat race

PADS Dragonboat team founder

For PADS founder and team manager JP Maunes, they are ecstatic to start training with Baraquero and sees the latter’s addition to their team very important. 

“Importante kaayo ni atoa bag-o coach (Our new coach is very important) for the preparation of the team for the 16th IDBF World Championships. We believe in his leadership as a head coach can take our team to greater heights at the world championship,” said Maunes. 

“Highly motivated kaayo ang mga athletes nato karon with the coming of our new coach kay strikto ug known siya na maayo modisiplina,” he further said.

(Our athletes are highly motivated now with the coming of our new coach because he is known to be strict and is good in disciplining people.)

It can be recalled that PADS stamped its class in the  International Dragon Boat Federation’s (IDBF) 13th Club Crew World Championships in Sarasota, Florida after winning four gold medals last year. 

READ: After winning 4 golds in Florida, PADS Dragon Boat Team eyes bigger races next year

PADS Dragonboat team: Unanswered request

Despite the motivation, PADS is still waiting for the local government units of Cebu City, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu to release their requested financial aid that will be used for their training and other expenses. 

According to Maunes, they cannot fully focus on training as they lack the needed funds for it, while the competition date draws near. 

“We are only hoping na i-release na unta sa atoang mga LGUs sa Cebu City, Lapu Lapu city ug Mandaue City ang budget request nato sa team para sa world championships para makafocus na ang atoa team 100 percent sa training,” he said. 

(We are hoping that the LGUs of Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City will release the budget request of our team for the world championship so that our team can focus on our training 100 percent.)

“Karon man gud taas sad ato-a anxiety level kay wala pa jud mi kadawat ug sigurado nga tubag. Naguol ang team na basin masayang lang ang gipangandaman nato,” Maunes revealed,” he said.

(Now, our anxiety level is very high because we have not yet received a definite answer. Our team is worried that their training and preparation will all be in vain.)

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