The Radford High School paddling team had a triumphant winter as the varsity girls finished the season undefeated. The team’s hard work is evident in their placements: The JV Girls paddlers have placed second for the west division. The JV Boys placed first in the west division. The Varsity Girls placed first in the west division. The Varsity Boys placed seventh, and the JV and Varsity Mix placed third. They have put in a lot just like every other sport. They have to stay late after school to practice and then they have to wake up early in the morning to go to their races and spend long days racing.
JV Paddler and Sophomore Alyssa Tabor explained how paddling influenced her life today. “It helped me change as a person and I became more positive,” she said.
Many students join paddling so that they can spend their days out on the water practicing for their races. They wake up every Saturday morning and go on the water to race. Not only does this sport keep you healthy it also helps you as a person.
Paddling is a very popular sport to be part of here in Hawaii. Paddling members get to spend their days outside on the beach training. Although this may seem like a casual activity, it is a competitive sport that many students put time and effort into, in order to win their races. The paddlers have to work their arms so that way they can steer the boat where they need it to go. They have to do conditioning and spend long days outside for hours preparing for their races. Paddlers also spend a long time sitting in the boat so they have to make sure their legs don’t fall asleep. They have to make sure they stay fit and healthy so that they are strong enough to row the boat with their teammates. They also build up tolerance and gain more strength. There are lots of benefits to doing this sport. The first one is how it helps build upper body strength. Players have to be able to use their arms to pull the paddling strokes which requires them to use their stomach and back. Just like how Tabor stated previously, on how the sport made her a more positive person, paddling also benefits player’s mental health.
Paddlers have to row a boat using only a paddle to get to the other side of the beach. Just like every other sport, they have to train dedicatedly to win their races. But unlike every other sport they get to spend their competition days on the water instead of on land. They get to race against other schools and get to enjoy being on the water with their team. They also spend hours and hours racing. Tabor explained that the best part about paddling was, “how close you get with new friends and how they turn into family.”
This sport isn’t just a sport because their teammates turn into their family. It makes sense because they spend long hours and go through blood, sweat, and tears together. In paddling, athletes have to depend on their teammates to be able to do what they’re supposed to do. For example there are two people called the strokers who sit in the very front and they have to pay attention to the pace of the paddle strokes. The next two people (3,4) are the power seats they have to push the boat along. Then, the next person (5) which is also the power seat has to help out the steers person when needed, they also need to look out for the ama. The last person (6) is the steersperson and captain. This person is responsible for being in charge and motivating their teammates. Their teammates have to be able to trust one another and be comfortable with them because they are out in the middle of the ocean in open waters.
“Throughout all the harder things that happened this season it really taught me to bounce back much better and iI’m so thankful it all happened,” said Tabor.
The Radford High School paddling team has put much time and effort into getting first place. Although their school season is almost over, they will come back and gain more top places. For some it was their last school season paddling races for others it was just the beginning but they both worked hard this season at achieving their goals. They got to take with them the medals or trophies and the memories of being on the team. They gained a lot during their season like how to do things using teamwork and how to depend on people to pull their weight.Next season they will come back stronger than ever.