CYSM Sea Dragons


A season to celebrate

Published Sun 18 Jun 2023

On Saturday 17 June 2023, club members, families and supporters gathered at CRUDOWarehouse in Kew to celebrate the Season that was. To reflect on our collective experiences this past season, let's recall what Club President, Sue Phung, had to say.

"Thank you everyone for joining us tonight to celebrate the tremendous season that we’ve had.

This club and team have without doubt gone through a lot of challenges and, a lot of ups and downs. My history with this club is not from the beginning (I was probably about 5 years old when it was formed), so I can only speak of the time that I’ve been here and am unsure when the last period of time the club was this big or competitive.

When I first joined, I kept hearing about how social CYSM was, late night karaokes, drinks and eating after training and regattas – some things haven’t changed! That the club doesn’t do well in 500m distances, let alone 2km. But I think the club was already starting to transition from being social when I joined back in 2016. Because I remember when I had my first regatta in Ballarat, I was put into the 2km sweep race and I remember freaking out thinking ‘how am I going to paddle for 2km non-stop!’ But everyone was telling me I have nothing to worry about because 2km was slow and easy paddling. Just 70% pace for us. But that was not the case. When the start was called, we started sprinting and we ended up coming 3rd with 11:15min. Everyone was so excited and happy and I was like, I am not doing 2km ever again. Now, our average 2km run is under 11min across all our divisions, with our Open 20s clocking 9:25min at AusChamps this year, which I believe is our fastest 2km time to date. 

Back then, we only had enough people to race in a Mixed 20s crew. Fast forward 7 years and from being one of the smallest clubs in Australia to being one of the biggest clubs, taking 50 people to AusChamps this year with a Mixed 20s, Open 20s and Women’s 20s crew as well as a Senior A crew! Not only that, but we’re also improving our times and results in all distances across all our divisions.

Every season we have achieved a goal and developed in one way or another. And for the first time ever, we have qualified in our Prems Open 20s and Mixed 10s for CCWC (Club Crew World Champs) and our Senior Mixed 10s came runners up against 14 other teams. To qualify in the standard 20s crew, you much come top 5 and in the small 10s crew, top 2. Our Open 20s were up against six teams while our Mixed 10s had 15 teams to go against, which just proves again how far this club has come.

It has been such an honour and humbling experience to be part of this club, to watch it grow and develop each year, to be able to learn and reach new goals with all of you. I hope we will continue to grow and develop into the future. All this would not have been achievable without the persistence, resilience and support of every past and present member of this club. Let us not forget where we came from and all those who have supported us and encouraged us along the way. However, success is not guaranteed infinitely. We must remain humble and not be arrogant or complacent with our success. We must still remember our roots and core values that have driven us to achieve what we have to date. There is so much more growth and opportunities for us if we want it, but it will still continue to take more work.

Never forget the past, be in the present and always strive for a better future.

I would also like to take this time to thank our captains, coaches and committee members who have put in countless hours in the background to organising training, regattas and events as well as tending to all our members queries on top of their paid day jobs. The club would not be here without all of you volunteering your time. I would also like to thank our volunteers and supporters for all your assistance over the seasons.

Lastly a special thank you to our CYSM HQ, of course without them the club would not exist at all. Thank you for your ongoing support and patience, especially Carmen when I keep pestering her for different things at all different hours of the day. And now she has secured us a sponsor to pay for a new branded club marquee!

With all the club success, we are also here to celebrate the individual standouts for the season. So stay tuned as our captains will present the awards for the season as voted by you."

Our Season 2022/23 Awardees

Award Recipient Citation
Team Spirit Adrian Yip For dedicating his spare time to the club in being a committee member, social media manager and committed paddler.
Member of the Year, Joe's Mongrel Adrian Yip For showing commitment to training attendance, competition attendance and developing himself as a paddler.
Member of the Year, She Dragon Connie Li For her consistent strive to grow in the sport and always supporting and encouraging her club mates.
Member of the Year, Junior/(Senior) Olivia Morley For her outstanding achievement this year in becoming a sweep, state paddler and an Aurora.
Captains' Choice Connie Li For her selfless commitment to the club and respected role model of constant elevation to other members.
Committee Choice Matt and Sam French For showing true club values through their dedication and support to the club and the team.
Coaches' Choice Jonathan (Joobey) Reyes For living the club's values, showing respect, care and responsibility throughout the season.
Most Improved Mon Lo For her growth throughout the season and her exemplary attitude taking on feedback from coaches.
Coach Joe's Rookie of the Year Ankit Dahiya For his commitment to training on and off the water in his first season.
Volunteer Appreciation

Marilyn McClellan
Nicole Morley McClellan
Fung Lay
Sui Lay
Mon Lo
Ankit Dahiya
Mandy Li
Melissa Tan
Young Tan

For going above and beyond in volunterring and supporting the club.


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