Brave dragons bat­tle it out

Breast can­cer sur­vivors take to wa­ter for re­gatta

Tweed Daily News - - SPORT -

DRAGON BOATS: A to­tal of 100 breast can­cer sur­vivors gath­ered on the Tweed River re­cently to bat­tle it out in the re­cent Dragons Abreast Mt Warn­ing pink re­gatta.

Dragons Abreast Mt Warn­ing pres­i­dent Anne Bow­den said she was pleased with the turnout on the day, which was held on the Tweed River at Mur­willum­bah on Oc­to­ber 29.

“We’re re­ally happy with the out­come,” Bow­den said.

She said the event, held ev­ery two years, was an emo­tional yet pow­er­ful time as breast can­cer sur­vivors gath­ered, but also spared a thought for those still un­der­go­ing treat­ment, and those who had passed away.

“This re­gatta was specif­i­cally for those who have un­der­gone treat­ment for breast can­cer and their sup­port­ers,” Bow­den said.

“Pad­dlers came from the Sun­shine Coast, Bris­bane, Bri­bie Is­land, Gold Coast and Bal­lina to com­pete in per­fect con­di­tions and to build and re­new friend­ships.”

Bow­den said the pink re­gatta day was filled with se­ri­ous on-wa­ter com­pe­ti­tion and plenty of on-shore laughs.

“The com­pe­ti­tion win­ners were a com­bi­na­tion team of Sun­shine Coast and the Bal­lina team Rain­bow Dragons, yet ev­ery­one who took to the wa­ter was recog­nised as a win­ner,” she said.

“Ev­ery com­peti­tor re­ceived a minia­ture paddle which were per­son­ally made by DAMW mem­ber Val Lowe, who also made the com­pe­ti­tion tro­phies.

“They were re­ceived with great en­thu­si­asm.”

Bow­den said the re­gatta was used as a train­ing ses­sion for a num­ber of pad­dlers who are plan­ning to go to Florence, Italy, in 2018 to com­pete in an in­ter­na­tional re­gatta.

“That re­gatta is an op­por­tu­nity for breast can­cer sur­vivor pad­dlers from around the world to come to­gether in friendly com­pe­ti­tion,” she said.

As Oc­to­ber was Breast Can­cer Aware­ness Month, she urged com­mu­nity mem­bers to un­dergo reg­u­lar checks.

The event wrapped up with a Flow­ers on the Wa­ter cer­e­mony, a trib­ute to those re­ceiv­ing can­cer treat­ment and those who had passed away.

“A di­ag­no­sis of breast can­cer is a shock to re­ceive, treat­ment is quite de­mand­ing but we are here to tes­tify to a whole new world that can open up by tak­ing the chal­lenge to build fit­ness,” she said.

Bow­den said the club had ce­mented re­la­tion­ships be­tween sur­vivors, as reg­u­lar ex­er­cise was key to main­tain­ing their health post-treat­ment.

“Any­one can try dragon boat­ing in a friendly and sup­port­ive at­mos­phere. You don’t have to be fit to paddle as pad­dling builds your fit­ness,” she said.

She said the friendly com­pe­ti­tion on of­fer at the club helped to keep its mem­bers en­gaged.

“Dragons Abreast Mt Warn­ing sup­ports the phi­los­o­phy of Dragon Boat­ing for Fit­ness, Fun and Friend­ships,” she said.

“That is how it was on the river (for the re­gatta).”

One in eight women will get a di­ag­no­sis of breast can­cer in their life­time, and in Aus­tralia, 120 men will be di­ag­nosed each year.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the club’s ac­tiv­i­ties visit mt­warn­ing­drag­


PAY­ING TRIB­UTE: One hun­dred breast can­cer sur­vivors gath­ered on the Tweed River re­cently to bat­tle it out in a Dragon Boat Re­gatta.

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