Raymond Kiang

For a long-distance race, your mental strength is what keeps you paddling non-stop even when your arms are dead tired.
Discover SIM GE Raymond, member of the SIM Dragon Boat crew 2013, holds the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy which the SIM team win on August 18, 2013 at Bedok Reservoir, beating NUS (the 2012 winner ), NTU and SMU; Raymond was captain of the 2012 team Armed with bulging biceps and six-pack abs, Dragon Boat captain Raymond Kiang, 24, was responsible for organising the training schedules and motivating the rest of his team mates for more than a year, preparing them for the Singapore Dragon Boat Festival 2012 (Sunday July 1) where they took part in the Prime Minister Cup over a 1km stretch in Bedok Reservoir. They raced against teams from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University. Raymond joined SIM Global Education’s Dragon Boat club in August 2010, straight after he enrolled in the BSc (Hons) Management programme offered by the University of London. Confessing that his only previous sports activities was playing badminton and that he had no experience in water sports, Raymond says he likes to keep fit, and what better way than to row a long boat with 19 other paddlers. There are also two others in the boat: the drummer beating time, and the rudder man or coxswain steering in the stern). The paddlers formed two rows - Raymond and another mate sit in front and set the pace as they rowed. He says there were different speed strategies: at the start, they sprang forward to build an early lead, at the middle course, they maintained a steady speed, and in the home stretch of 100-200m, they made the final charge. The distances are different for different events. In the Prime Minister’s Cup on July 1, 2012, it was 1,000m which takes about 4 minutes; while in the SBDA-Austchamp race in September 2011, it was 10km on the Kallang River (which the team won). Mental strength “For a long distance race, your mental strength is what keeps you paddling non-stop even when your arms are dead tired,” says Raymond. To achieve such physical feats, the team’s training commitment must be high. Even when there are no competitions drawing near, they still hold four training sessions each a week comprising two gym and two rowing sessions. Raymond took over as captain of the men’s team in July 2011. He oversaw the general administrative matters for the club and acted as liaison person between the coach and the team, ensuring that both parties agreed to training schedules and attendance rate could be optimised. Leadership is people-handling In his view, leadership is all about coordinating and controlling. It sharpens inter-personal and communication skills as leadership is about dealing with people. As an affiliate member of the Singapore Dragon Boat Association, Raymond also keeps in close touch with the association for details on upcoming races. He feels it was his responsibility as captain to motivate his team and lift morale, especially in difficult times, such as during the Prime Minister’s Cup race in 2012, when their boat was overtaken by the NUS team just before the finishing line. The results were: NUS first, SIM runners-up. His period as captain has ended but Raymond stays on as adviser and guide, even as he enters his final year of study. After graduation, he hopes to join the national team to pursue his passion for rowing beyond the horizon. - Story by Jeanie Yap, second-year student, BSc (Hons) in Banking & Finance programme, University of London, interview in August 2012, posted online November 2012, updated on August 20, 2013 SIM Global Education offers a range of UOL diploma and degree programmes covering Economics, Finance, Management, Banking, Accounting, Mathematics and Information Systems