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1st Bahamas Festival August 2022

From a Pink Warriors, Panama perspective

Submited by Ma. Betania Castro

Pink Warriors travel to Bahamas.

After 4 months of intense preparation, perfecting our technique, tireless strength practices and polishing strategies, the day had finally come. We had accepted the challenge, a new competition, BAHAMAS, a dream place to shine. Together 14 members of the team boarded the flight from Panamá to Nassau accepting the challenge, with toned energies and overflowing with nerves and emotion, but happy to do what we love, Dragon Boat racing.

During a day of practice, we went out of our comfort zone, with more unstable boats than we are used too, rough seas, many waves, but with the same energy that the other participants at the festival had, which made you feel the intense heat of a competition. Coaches voiced a lot of suggestions, tips and helped us to face the nerves of a new space. We discovered that the scenario was not easy for us, but as always, it was not impossible either.

1st Day of competition, we discover the beautiful energy of the Bahamas, the amazing people, teams, their families and more. So, with a smile on our faces, we reached early morning for the 1st race of 500mtrs, and then 3 races for 200mtrs, once again, the sea proved itself not to be calm, but our emotion and desire to achieve what we set out to achieve were stronger than our nerves.

2nd Day of Competition, the focus was on the big final, people were applauding, congratulating us for being brave and for being survivors, joining us in each paddle, feeling the affection of the locals, competitors, and our families, who despite being far away were present.

With full energy and exhaustion, tears of emotion and happiness, we achieved Silver, 2nd Place for 200mtrs and Bronze, 3rd Place for 500mtrs. What a great day to continue writing the Cancer Survivors story and to show what we are capable of, and that “there is life after Cancer”.

Nassau, Bahamas, a place where the gorgeous palette of blue and light blue colours mixes and merges with the sea, sky, and sand; where the calm gets into the veins and where the sun never goes away.

The Pink Warriors left Bahamas with a lot of learning and so much to be grateful for.