Our “Humans of Lazada” series takes a look at the professional and personal lives of more than 9,000 people who work at Lazada. Click here for more stories from this series.
“Around 2015, I was introduced by one of my close friends to dragon boating, which was trending among Malaysians at the time. I love sports and was curious, so I decided try it out. I fell in love with it almost instantly.
I got to be a part of one of the biggest dragon boating teams in Malaysia. The team comprised more than 100 members. Before COVID, we would gather every Saturday to paddle at Putrajaya Lakeside. We would often compare our sun-tanned legs and arms, which were all in different shades. Sharing tips to prevent sunburn and sunscreen recommendations was part of our day-to-day conversations.
When we started paddling, we didn’t plan on participating in any formal race. However, with our shared desire to challenge ourselves, we ultimately took on a competition at the Penang International Dragon Boat Festival to put our hard work to the test.
Ahead of our first official race, we trained tirelessly every weekend for three to four months for up to six hours each day. We went into the race hopeful and optimistic, thinking that we had prepared enough. But things don’t always turn out the way you want them to. Although we came home from Penang empty-handed, it was still a fulfilling experience. As a team, we didn’t see it as the end but rather as a great beginning and a lesson for our subsequent races.
Dragon boating is not about just paddling with a group of people – it’s a lot more sophisticated and complicated than that. There are five different and important roles in a team, namely the drummer, steerer, pacer, engine and rocket. Each and every one plays an important part in generating the right power and speed in order to drive the boat forward. There is no single hero on a boat. Enthusiasm, team spirit, commitment and the willingness to drop one’s ego are key to success.
Ashleigh and her dragon-boating team.
Unfortunately, I’m currently taking a break from the sport due to injuries. I do miss those paddling days with my friends dearly, but I’m grateful for those lessons I’ve learned from them and the sport. When it comes to activities that require collaboration, especially those at work, you will need to be in sync with the rest of your teammates to reach the goal – and nothing beats the feeling of reaching the finish line together.”
Ashleigh Ng, 39, is head of seller brand marketing at Lazada Malaysia
Compiled and prepared by Chiah Siow Yen from the Lazada communications team in Malaysia.
"Graffiti reflects my pursuit of new experiences and my passion for experimentation."
"Being able to capture your audience is crucial to a valuable first impression..."