SINGAPORE – March 2012. Ryan Ng, 22 and Debra Lam, 20, setup Deaf Dragons, a dragon boat team consisting of deaf paddlers in March 2012. StraitsTimes.com reported that in less than four months, Ng and Lam took the team to take the first place in the Eighth Club Crew  World Championship in Hong Kong,

Today, Deaf Dragons consist of more than 20 deaf paddlers who are training for the SAVA Sprints International 2013 held in Singapore. Deaf Dragons hope to raise sufficient funds to participate in the Ninth Club Crew World Championships in Italy next year.

Debra Lam, head trainer (left) and Ryan Ng, founder of Deaf Dragons coordinates on the training programme. Ng and Lam, started Deaf Dragons to show that people with disabilities can succeed in sports. Photo | Royson Poh
Lam briefs the hearing impaired rowers of Deaf Dragons on the training programme for the day using sign language. Lam had no prior knowledge of sign language and learnt how to sign deaf team members. Photo | Royson Poh
Rowers from Deaf Dragons push off from shore in two 12-men boats for their training at Kallang Basin. Photo | Royson Poh
In July 2013, Deaf Dragons, came in first in the disabled category of the Eight Club Crew World Championships in Hong Kong. Photo | Royson Poh
Dragon boat racing involves many verbal commands. However in coaching Deaf Dragons, Lam is not able to rely on her voice but instead had to convert her commands to signs. Photo | Royson Poh
Chang Yi, 18, a dragon boat enthusiast, volunteers as a steersman with Deaf Dragons. Photo | Royson Poh
Unable to use verbal instruction, Lam relies on gestures and sign to guide and instruct the rowers. Photo | Royson Poh
Alfred Yeo, team captain, counts the 200 strokes each pair of rower has to complete as part of their training in silence using his hands. Photo | Royson Poh
Deaf Dragons return back to shore after completing their training programme in preparation for the Sava Sprints International held in Singapore on Sep 14 and 15. Photo | Royson Poh
Deaf Dragon paddlers stretching out after a hard days training. Photo | Royson Poh
Deaf Dragons received a sponsorship of S$26,000from Starhub which provides funds for their boats, equipment and storage. The team hopes to raise sufficient funds to compete in the 2014 Ninth Club Crew World Championship in Italy. Photo | Royson Poh

Find out more about Deaf Dragons on Facebook.