Rita Zhang

Equipped with sports gloves covering my hands, sunglasses and a cap to prevent my eyes from the splashing sea water, and sun blocking cream poured over my body, there I was sitting on the dragon boat of Barclays, endeavouring to reach the seemingly impossible finishing line.

But eventually, we made it!

For every Tuen Ng Festival, Barclays Hong Kong will form two competitive teams to participate in the Dragon Boat Race held at the beautiful Stanley main beach. And before that, employees from all business units in Barclays may opt to join the 10 training sessions on Sunday afternoons for 2 hours. I was one of them in 2013.

Paddle up! Arm straight! Touch the Water! Paddle up! With the exciting and powerful drumbeats, the whole crew coordinated with each other to fight the wild wind and the sea. Despite the fact that it's a great way to get in shape for the Summer, I had a lot of fun participating the Dragon boating training: It is an excellent team sport and a great way to get involved and meet with different people in Barclays. 

No matter if you are senior business heads or interns who just joined the company, the crew worked together with perseverant dedication, tremendous team spirit, and willingness to put mind, body and soul on the line.

I will always remember one time that the boat was missing a plug and started filling up with water during training. But with the team wisdom to quickly stuff the hole with a T-shirt and everyone working hard to bail the water, we prevented the boat from becoming submerged and training continued without further issue.

Finally in last year’s race, Barclays’ Teams received a commendable 6th in the Gold Plate Final and the other in the Silver Plate Final. We are all very proud of it.

This year’s Tuen Ng Festival is coming soon. Do you hear the exciting drumbeat? Come and join us!