Ronald Cheong and Loh Jia Wei have been “in the same boat” for two years. They are committee members of the SAFRA Dragonboat Club, with Ronald serving as treasurer and Jia Wei as the president. “We have been sharing ideas on how to improve the club and do better for our next race,” says Ronald, 42, who is married, has a young son, and works as a consultant with an international life insurance broker.
Jia Wei, 25, is the club’s youngest-ever president. He is single, works as a manager and coordinator for an F&B establishment, and first joined the club to keep fit.
“You can be fit and strong, but what’s more important is the camaraderie among teammates and coordinating as a team.” Jia Wei began his journey as a SAFRA volunteer by taking charge of the club’s recruitment. Ronald, 17 years his senior, has been a SAFRA member for more than 20 years. Despite the age difference, the pair have been working well together for the good of the club, which conducts training three times a week and competes in up to seven local races and one overseas race each year.
What is your most memorable experience with the club?
Ronald: Winning races with the team! Dragonboat races are very competitive and race preparation is always a challenge. It requires the team to maintain or reduce weight, maintain or increase strength, with lots of highintensity cardio required. All this requires commitment and a focus on safety to prevent injuries.
Jia Wei: Our team won a final at last year’s Singapore Dragonboat Festival, beating a few strong expat teams along the way. That accomplishment, seeing smiles on everyone’s faces, will always be etched in my mind.
Is it challenging to balance club commitments with work and family?
R: Jia Wei and the former club president approached me to take on the role of treasurer, since I am familiar with finances. As I’m passionate about dragonboating, I don’t really have any problems with managing time commitments. And you can’t really measure passion.