2009 Nationwide Creative Environmental Protection Dragon Boat Competition
Translated by Ann Lee
In order to promote the importance and concept of resource recycling to the public, Taichung City began hosting an environmental protection dragon boat competition three years ago. In the beginning, contest participants were cleaners from different areas of the city who mostly used recycled goods like plastic bottles, old CDs and even bathtubs and plastic drain tubes discarded by the public to build their boats. With much dedication and creative planning, teams carefullly constructed their own environmentally-friendly boats to the point where one could hardly tell that they were made from recycled goods.
These boats floated smoothly on the water, and drew an excited, interested audience to the races. As a result, Taichung City Mayor Jason Hu expressed the idea of a national event. "Although we cannot host a traditional dragon boat competition, a competition of this caliber is truly unique," he noted. "While all citizens can take part or come watch the race, the most important message being sent to the public is helping them fully understand that recycling resources can be such a fun activity."
Hu also noted that the Taichung environmental protection dragon boat competition started off with only seven participating boats in 2006, but saw that number grow to 36 boats in 2007. By the time Taichung City Government hosted its third annual race in 2008, there were a total of 51 boats signed up for the event.
Now, with three years of experience under its belt, the government has decided to host another race this year on an even greater scale, naming it the "2009 Nationwide Creative Environmental Protection Dragon Boat Competition" in hopes of encouraging Taichung citizens to consider and be more conscious of the importance of environmental protection. In hosting this event, the Taichung City Government also hopes to showcase the hard efforts and determination of the city and its people to promote environmental protection-related work. This year's event will also be broadcasted by the media, giving it a very large amount of local and international exposure and helping to create the image of Taichung as a green, environmentally-friendly city.