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Asian Pacific Americans Network (APAN), an Employee Resource Group at Nationwide Children’s Hospital , competed in the Dragon Boat Race at the Columbus Asian Festival on May 21st, 2017. The mission of Asian festival aligns with that of APAN in that it promotes the importance of cultural diversity in building a vibrant, prosperous and healthy community. The festival attracts over 100,000 visitors yearly. As a new member of the diversity and inclusion program at Nationwide Children’s, APAN developed two main focus of its mission: to promote the wellbeing of Asian Pacific American employees and patients at the hospital; and to foster the partnerships with Asian Pacific American vendors and communities.
To participate in the race, APAN recruited 42 members including 21 starters and 21 substitutes about one week before the race and this became the first NCH Dragon Boat Team to participate in the Asian Festival Dragon Boat race. Other 20 participating teams this year included the 2016 winner Honda and the runner-up Cardinal Health.
APAN recruited race team members for Team Nationwide Children’s from its four focused engagement areas: employees, patients and families, vendors, and communities, primarily but not limited to people of Asian Pacific descent. Besides, Team Nationwide Children’s also welcomes participants at different levels of prior experience to sign up. For example, the starting team includes 7 female adults, 11 male adults and 3 teenagers of 12 years old (the minimum age to participate).
The core spirit of the Dragon Boat resonates well with core values of APAN which emphasize on “one team” spirit and a sport for all -- an embrace of diversity and inclusion. What makes Dragon boat different from other race is that it is the synchronicity that moves the boat. “Muscle” is good, but not nearly as good as paddling together with the correct technique. It is not uncommon to watch seemingly "weaker" teams to win races. It is about paddling as one and having one heart - a sentiment shared by the race committee during the captain's meeting.


“We may not become the fastest team by any means this year but we are daring to exceed ourselves for each heat of the race. As one team, we want to show our strong commitment and courage despite the fact we are young and inexperienced.” says Wei Chen, the captain of Team Nationwide Children’s, co-chair of APAN and a senior data scientist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
As a first time participant, Team Nationwide Children’s finally earned the 2nd place in Division C and ranked 13th overall among all 21 teams. For each heat of the race, Team NCH finished the second place in the first qualifying race at 1m25.50s ahead of OSU Wexner Medical Centre (1s30.94s) and behind Cardinal Health (1m19.71s). In the semi-final race, Team Nationwide Children’s beat both Clintonville CRC (1m29.26s) and NiSource/Columbia Gas (1m33.31s) at 1m25.50s. In the final Division C championship race, Team NCH beat Discover (1m21.73s) by a quarter of a second at 1m21.46s but lost to BNCC Dragonboat Youth (1m20.76s).
“It is our uniqueness to have such a diverse and inclusive dragon boat team to participate. Next year, we will inherit this uniqueness characteristic to build a second team. We will continue exceeding ourselves in this race. ” says Wei Chen.
Draft: June 6th, 2017 by Wei
Edits: June 10th, 2017 by Wei
Edits: June 12th, 2017 by Gina

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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