One of the first things I did when I started with Long View in April of this year, was to join the Wellness Committee. I wanted to get involved in the Long View culture that I’d heard so much about, and it seemed like the perfect way to quickly make some new friends.

In one of my first meetings, we brainstormed different activities for our branch to participate in. I made the suggestion that we should enter a dragon boat team into this year’s Calgary festival. I was very excited when our committee overwhelmingly said yes!

We worked diligently, setting up a team website, ordering jerseys, booking practices and, of course, settling on a team name: Long View Slipstream. I was blown away when we had the required 20 people sign up in just three days! It was a real testament to the energy of the people that work here.

Everything was off to a fantastic start but then the reservoir closed due to the devastating floods. Our schedule was suspended and the dragon boats were all under water or buried by debris. Practicing as a team is essential to success and we needed that time to blend as a group. We were able to finally hold our first official practice 2 weeks after that. I was amazed at how focused and committed everyone was and how we all came together in a short time.

Before we knew it, the weekend of racing was upon us. The top 5 corporate times would qualify to compete for the prestigious Corporate Challenge Cup. Our time at the end of day 1 qualified us for the C division and was fast enough to be in the running for the cup. Our final race of the weekend was a valiant effort and we ended up having our best race overall. We finished the C Division Final in 5th place and 25th out of 50 teams in the festival. I could not have been more proud of our accomplishment.

What was even more impactful to me was that I had several team members remark on the positive spirit that surrounded the festival. I believe that the atmosphere and our team camaraderie was what provided such a positive experience for us all.

We did an excellent job of carrying the Long View flag and showed Calgary what we’re made of. I think the festival showed us how to come together as friends and work as a unified team. Next year we’re going for that corporate cup and I feel confident that we have the spirit and the commitment to bring it home.