Dragon boat’s decade on the water
It started with just six people as a way to offer friendship, fitness and support to women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Ten years on and members of The Simply The Breast Dragon Boat Team are set to celebrate a milestone birthday.
And the crew hope both past and present members will join them to mark the special occasion.
The group started officially in Marlborough in 2008 but its origins started two years earlier.
Two women who had experienced dragon boat racing in Vancouver gave a talk at Cancer Society Marlborough.
A donated boat, paddles and the will to help others saw the team come together.
It has since helped hundreds of women across the region with advice, support and fitness.
Co-chair Susie Williams was diagnosed with breast cancer at 40-years-old and underwent surgery in October 2012.
The mother-of-three moved to Marlborough with her family in 2014.
‘‘I made contact with the group within days of arriving in Blenheim. I’ve met some wonderful people and the sense of camaraderie is always there.
‘‘Breast cancer is not all we talk about,’’ she says.
The team’s primary aim is to assist in the rehabilitation of breast cancer survivors.
Entry for the dragon boat season, transport and associated costs, including the upkeep of the boats, easily run into thousands of dollars every year.
The group also needs women paddlers of any age and experience to help keep the team strong.
A coach, sweeps and support boat drivers are also needed.
‘‘You do form a bond through understanding. I’ve learnt so much, both good and bad but what never changes is the support; it’s unbelievable.’’ she said.
Members of the Simply The Breast Dragon Boat Team will gather to celebrate their 10-year anniversary with an event on May 18 at Saint Clair Family Estate Vineyard Kitchen on Selmes Rd.
William says would love to see as many family and friends of current and past paddlers as possible to celebrate this milestone.
Tickets are available for $30 and can be ordered by contacting: Susie Williams on: 027 776 6388 or by emailing email@example.com
Members of the Simply the Breast dragon boat team and potential new recruits take to the water. (File photo)