Mariam Karabit takes over a club dedicated to improvement, fun and teamwork
Change is underway at the George Brown Dragon Boat Club (GBDBC), as the team’s founder and supervisor Lisa Tai has stepped down.
Tai, who will remain involved as a senior advisor, leaves the club in experienced hands. Taking the club supervisor reins is Mariam Karabit, an advanced French patisserie student who has been a GBDBC member since its inaugural season in 2013-14.
Karabit may be a new voice, but the club’s aims remain constant.
“The goal is to get a medal, improve our times and to make it a fun environment,” she said. “It’s a great place to meet new friends, even making long-lasting friendships. It’s a fun environment, (and) you get to either stay fit or get fit.”
The club competed in three regattas this past season but did not secure a medal.
The mixture of competition, improvement and fun in a team atmosphere is tricky to balance. It’s also key to the GBDBC experience which members enjoy. With October marking the start of 2016-17 season, the club is hopeful students will find its pitch appealing.
Those who do can expect to roll up their sleeves. “In order to have a successful team, we need members that are willing to commit to our practices, have the same desire to race and all have a common goal,” said William Do, a dragon boat beginner named the club’s 2015-16 Most Valuable Paddler.
“Newcomers can expect to work hard because this is a team effort,” said fellow first year paddler, Sheena Malto, who won Most Improved Paddler this year. “If you’re not pulling your own weight, it’s going to show during competition.”
The GBDBC experience is a challenging one, and this makes one lesson Karabit learned from her predecessor all the more important: “That sometimes things get tough, but always push through, look to other people on the team or even previous paddlers. That’s why the community’s really close; if you ever need help with anything, you can always go to other people.”