Submitted by Lucia De Ranieri, IBCPC Vice President
Since I was appointed as a member of the EDBF Women in Sport Commission, I have been working closely with Paola Pochesci, chairperson of this Commission, and also with EDBF President Schermi, in order to strengthen the collaboration between the IBCPC and EDBF, seeking to promote an interconnection between the two organizations, and contribute to the empowerment of women and gender equality.
The 19th EDBF European Club Crew Championship in Ravenna saw the first action of this collaboration. The IBCPC and EDBF entered into an agreement whereby IBCPC member teams were able to register for the event without having to be affiliated with national federations and compete in the IBCPC category.
I attended the event as the drummer of the Italian Dragon Sisters, a composite team that brings together Italian paddlers from Italian BC teams. We were the only team that decided to take this opportunity to register under the IBCPC/EDBF agreement.
I am so proud and happy to have been part of this inspiring team, created with the aim of giving the opportunity to any BC paddler to independently join this team to compete in dragon boating events and live the experience of a composite team.
It has been an amazing experience: four days that gave us joy, smiles, lots of laughter and new wonderful friendships. Although some of us didn't know each other before this event, an extraordinary sense of cohesion was immediately created in the crew. We lived this experience with harmony, humility, hospitality and true desire to share.
I am grateful to each one of my team-mates for the opportunity to stay together in a such beautiful and pleasant way. A special thanks to the three people who made this trip possible by organizing it in every detail: Cristina Carbone, captain of the Italian Dragon Sisters who had the “crazy” extraordinary idea of forming this team, Jolanda Giamberini and Alessandro Piccardi who were infected by her passion and who worked with care and commitment. The Italian Dragon Sisters team fully expresses a spirit of sisterhood and camaraderie, and definitely puts the IBCPC values of participation and inclusion into practice.
I am glad to say that thirteen BCP teams attended the event in the BCP category and also in their various age group categories across divisions. There were be teams from Ireland, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Serbia and Albania. I was thrilled to meet them all, it was a great opportunity to see paddlers I had met at previous events and to meet new ones. I wanted to bring our spirit of camaraderie to this Championship too, so I gathered all the BCP teams in a large lawn where we took photos together and where we built a fun and emotional bridge of hope, singing at the top of our lungs. As always it was a great joy, and an opportunity to remember that together we are stronger!