DBS Regatta goes green

This year's DBS Marina Regatta will not only feature dragon boat races but also carnival activities centred around sustainability and environmental issues.
This year's DBS Marina Regatta will not only feature dragon boat races but also carnival activities centred around sustainability and environmental issues.PHOTO: DBS BANK

It aims to raise awareness on environmental issues besides promoting dragon boat racing

When Emelyn Tan participated in the DBS Marina Regatta last year, she enjoyed most the "invigorating atmosphere" at the carnival, which featured food and game stalls, and workshops on healthy eating.

"It was a great place to mingle, catch up with friends and spend time with family," said the 40-year-old teacher, who can look forward to more from the May 31 to June 2 event at The Promontory @ Marina Bay.

With the theme, The Race Against Time, the eighth edition aims to raise awareness on environmental issues and will use recycled, reusable and natural materials in its structures.

Solar energy will also be used to power cooling fans at the venue, while workshops covering topics such as urban farming will be held.

Participants can enjoy hawker fare like carrot cake and braised pork rice at The Grubhouse while being entertained by local buskers and acrobatic acts.

But what Tan is most excited about is the Race the Maze segment, which features 10 interactive eco-themed installations.

One of them is a string maze that gives participants an idea of what marine life in oceans polluted by plastic waste go through.

"I like the idea of fostering environmental appreciation through interactive play, using recycled materials, sustainability workshops and reducing food waste," said Tan.

"Incorporating environmental considerations in the regatta... will be an effective way of reaching out to participants and teaching responsibility through sustainable practices."

DBS Singapore country head Shee Tse Koon hopes the green theme will inspire people to be more environmentally friendly by making changes to their daily lives, such as using reusable cutlery instead of single-use plastics.

He said: "We believe that a little goes a long way. Every small effort we make today plays a big part in contributing to a sustainable world for future generations."

The regatta, organised in partnership with the Singapore Dragon Boat Association, will also feature free sailing sessions and competitive dragon boat races with teams from North America and Asia-Pacific.

Ang Kip Siong, who competed in the premier mixed and open categories last year, said this is a good learning opportunity.

Said the 59-year-old, who will race in the premier mixed event this time: "It provides a good platform for us to judge our performance and exchange experiences with the teams from Singapore and overseas.

"More importantly, we can make many new friends."

DBS Asia Dragons Ladies captain Eveline Lau, 33, is gearing up her team to win the corporate mixed and women's races.

She also hopes that more people will be inspired to take up the sport and also to think about environmental conservation.

She said: "We can start by just making small changes to our lifestyle and habits."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 28, 2019, with the headline 'DBS Regatta goes green'. Print Edition | Subscribe