Dragons Abreast Australia has turned Breast Cancer Survivors into Breast Cancer thrivers for the past 25 years! The Australian network for Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat paddling is going from strength to strength- just like its members. The power of positivity, optimism, adventure and tenacity are very evident when our groups from all over Australia come together to paddle alongside each other, racing against Breast Cancer.
Over the weekend from Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October, Dragons Abreast Australia celebrated their 25th Anniversary in Penrith, NSW. A wonderful celebration of living life to the fullest after a breast cancer diagnosis!
Over 200 Breast Cancer survivors from all over Australia, joined in the celebrations which started with a Mingle on Terrace at the Penrith Panthers Leagues Club. This was a chance for members both old and new to renew friendships, share stories and start the weekend off with a bit of fun and frivolity.
Saturday saw everyone descend on the newly refurbished Tench Reserve for the 25th Anniversary Regatta. With the theme of the day being the 1990’s, we saw crews dressed as Spice Girls, Harry Potter, AFL Champions, Retro, Grunge and even a few Tina Turners. Even though this was a participatory event, the competition between teams for the honor of crossing the line first made for some fierce racing.
The racing finished with a very special ‘Flowers on the Water’ ceremony where we all come together as one to remember and pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives to Breast Cancer. Remembering our Angels Abreast is always a moving ceremony and time for reflection.
The Log Cabin became the venue for our ‘Bling it Up in Pink’ celebration dinner, where we shared stories, reflected on the history of Dragons Abreast Australia and gave a snapshot of the future. Many laughs, stories, dancing and sore feet rounded out the fantastic celebration. We also had a special video message from His Excellency Governor General David Hurley and Her Excellency Mrs. Linda Hurley.
It was a fantastic weekend of togetherness and camaraderie, and we hope the future bring more survivors the opportunity to discover the benefits of dragon boat paddling after a diagnosis of breast cancer.
We would like to thank everyone who volunteers, supports, participates, advocates and makes Dragons Abreast Australia the shining light at the end of the tunnel that Breast Cancer Survivors need. Special mention to David Krantz CEO Dragon Boat NSW and Cr Tricia Hitchen, Penrith City Council and Kerrie and all the Dragons Abreast Penrith Members. Join our Nationwide MOVEment and get exercising after Breast Cancer – a safe space to regain your health and confidence in the company of those who understand.
Some quotes from the day:
"We paddled hard and danced al night, met old friends and made many, many new ones, laughed and cried side by side – such an amazing experience. Thanks DAA for helping us all make such wonderful memories." Sarah O’Regan DA Brisbane.
"God it was such a great day!" Lizzie Moloney DA Coffs Coast
"Dragons Abreast Australia what an amazing journey that continues to thrive!" Laraine Vandenberg DA Pumicestone
"Best Warm Up Ever!" Trish Taylor DA Dubbo