Hamdan, a 41 years old Project Engineer who is also a committee member of PA Water-Venture, is active in sports despite being busy as a father of five. However, despite that, he is active in water sports, especially dragon boating, which he was introduced to back then in 2008.
In order to be able to keep himself fit, he does various kind of training from running to body workout, and to water training. Hamdan trains with at least a minimum of two evening runs or body weight workouts on weekdays and then on weekends, he will do two water training (2 hours each session).
Being a father of five is no excuse to not be active in sports and being able to spend time with family. Just like Hamdan, though he is a father of five, with a career, and an active lifestyle, he still prioritises his family during his non-training days. While he stays active through running, water sports and other activities, he also influences his family members to keep themselves fit. He even brings his family along to exercise together on some days. With five children, aged between 8 months and 15 years old, Hamdan encourages his three oldest children to take up sports as their Co-Curricular Activities - Tchoukball, Canoeing, and Soccer.
RS: What interest you to be active in sports?
Hamdan: I started Dragon boating in 2008 and was introduced to it by my late Coach from NTUC Club who was also my colleague at that time. Before Dragon boating, I was not very involved in sports and I had tried other sports such as Soccer and Sepaktakraw but wasn't good in those.
When I finally tried dragon boating, I realised that water sports was for me. Dragon boat is a team sport and I like team sports which require coordination and technique. In dragon boat, coordination is not an easy task and everyone needs to work together, whether you are a paddler, drummer or steersperson.
RS: How has being active in sports changed your life?
Hamdan: Being active in sports has kept me healthy and I can look after my family better. I have a big family with 5 kids, so it's good to be able to take care of my family when I'm healthier.
RS: What do you think about doing sports at your age?
Hamdan: There is no age limit and dragon boat is for everyone. Anyone can do dragon boating as there are various categories in dragon boat that you can choose depending on your age and gender. I tell my friends who are around my age that they should not be scared to join dragon boat as it's the perfect sport to keep their upper limbs working and stay active.
RS: Since you are active in water sports, especially dragon boating, do you join in any dragon boating club? What are your training days like?
Hamdan: I train regularly with my local dragon boat team, Team Kraken at PAssion Wave @ Marina Bay, and at times Water-Venture (Bedok Reservoir). I am also a dragon boat volunteer trainer with PA Water-Venture for two years and conduct classes regularly at PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay and Water-Venture (Bedok Reservoir). My training days would be minimum 2 evening runs or body weight workouts on weekdays, and 2 water training at 2 hours each session on weekends.
RS: How do you juggle all of your roles - father, husband, employee, and someone who is active in sports? It sounds really exhausting.
Hamdan: Priority goes to my family on non-training days, I will spend as much time as I can with them. Sometimes I even bring them to my training sessions or races.
RS: Have you talked to your family members into becoming active in sports too?
Hamdan: Yes. I encourage them to be active in sports, try all types of sports and select any one of them.
RS: Have you participated in any running race, dragon boating race or any other water sports race?
Yes, I have. I participated in the Singapore Dragon Boat Association local races (Singapore Dragon Boat Festival, Singapore River Regatta, SDBA Century Race), Overseas races (Malaysia, Philippines, and China), and also I represented Singapore Masters Team Senior A (above 40 years old) Mixed category and brought back a Bronze medal from 13th World Nations Dragon Boat Championship in Kunming, China in 200m, and 500m race on 18-22 Oct 2017.
RS: What spark you into joining it?
Hamdan: What really sparked me into joining in the races would be mainly because of teamwork and my burning passion for the sport.
RS: How do you make time train when you have all the responsibilities on you?
Hamdan: No doubt that it is tough to be able to make time to train after a tiring day at work and all but I would still try to squeeze in training whenever I can, even a 20 to 30-minute run is still valuable to me.
RS: Do you have any running tips that you would like to share with our readers? Or tips on staying active in sports?
Hamdan: It would be to run at your own pace and listen to your own body.
RS: Our readers would like to know if you follow any specific diet plan to keep yourself fit since you stayed active through running, water sports, and other activities.
Hamdan: I would advise to avoid fried food, eat more vegetables and fruits and drink plenty of plain water. That's the most important and there are no secrets to staying fit. Just know that there is no shortcut to staying fit and do exercise regularly whenever possible.
So, do you also think that not being able to spend time with family and lead an active lifestyle is an excuse after reading about Hamdan's story?