OC1 Essay Contest Entry - Zayar Dorku

The following submission was made as an entry to win a OC1 from an amazingly generous donor, who wanted to see the canoe truly enjoyed, rather than turn a profit. Entrants were asked to submit an essay answering the following:

  • Part 1: “Describe how paddling has changed your life.”
  • Part 2: “How do you plan to use this canoe, and perhaps someday pass it along?”

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Zayar Dorku, California

Hello, my name is Zayar Dorku and I am 10 years old. I have been paddling for 5 years. I paddle in Martinez for Golden State Outrigger Canoe Club. My father is West African, more specifically Ghanaian from the Ewe people. My mother is Fijian, although she has a little bit of Chinese from her father's side. As you should know, I am writing this essay to win a free OC1.

When I first started paddling 5 years ago, I wasn’t that much of a water lover. In fact, when I was told that you could flip, I got really paranoid. (I’m not anymore). When I got exceedingly better, I started to stay around the water.

Paddling has also made me more athletic and more stronger. As a seven year old, I only played soccer. From time to time I did workout but only with simple stuff. Over the three years it took me to become a ten year old, I picked up more sports along the way, becoming a better soccer player, a full time paddler, a time to time rugby, football, and basketball player, and many more. My legs became much stronger and I became used to going long distances. From making me a better swimmer to helping me learn about my ancestry (we Fijians use a boat called a drua, it uses a sail instead of paddles), paddling has truly changed my life.

I plan to use this canoe to help me train, compete in races and have fun. I plan to someday pass it along by getting my children to paddle and to use my OC1. Hopefully, they will pass it onto their children, and my bloodline will paddle until there is no water left to paddle on.

I hope you will consider me getting this OC1 as I would really like it. Paddling is now a very important part of my life and if I could get this canoe, it would be the highlight of my year.

Sincerely, Zayar Dorku


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