Go Europe Pink Dragons 1st edition or: Teamwork to make a (COVID) dream come true.
Let´s go back in time… Don´t we all remember the year 2020 when many countries didn't allow meeting in person due to the pandemic? When people were restricted to staying at home? These times of lockdown were the beginning of a dream, and this dream has become reality 3 years later with a composite team of pink paddlers united from various European teams supported by some pink friends from Israel and the US.
When nobody was allowed to paddle, a community of pink paddlers (rising from the European WhatsApp group “Go Europe” which had been connecting the teams for some time already thanks to Cecilia from Florence) was invited to join an online paddling practice organized by Wendy and Teresa in Bournemouth, England.
Following a warm-up in our Wednesday night zoom meetings, everyone took their paddle, or found a broomstick or feather duster, anything usable to paddle in your living-room to the sound of ABBA, the Beatles or Irish folk music (on St. Patrick´s Day) and we started paddling together, each of us sitting on her own chair. Friendships were formed online across borders – deepened when some of us met for real at the United Ladies adventure in France where we paddled together for the first time.
Sitting by the campfire on the shore of the Loire River on a starry French night, the idea of forming a dragon boat team one day was discussed. And in 2023 the team “Go Europe Pink Dragons” was finally launched when we registered a composite team for the 4th Barcelona International Dragonboat Festival!
The Go Europe Pink Dragons most enjoyed getting in touch with many pink paddlers from around the world (Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Spain) – 16 teams competing in small boats, but also spending time as a team including the Pink Royals composite team, visiting the city, and crying together at the beautiful flower ceremony.
It wasn't easy to find the same beat for our races on Saturday (in the women´s senior division) and Sunday (in the pink BCS division) with only one hour of practice on Friday night, but we grew strong as one team of paddlers from Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Israel, and the US and crowned our successful weekend in Spain by a bronze medal.
The biggest success, however, was bringing the spirit of a composite European Team to life! Our next regatta is planned for October when many of us will meet again in Rome – welcoming some new friends (and countries: Denmark and Ireland) to the dream team! You will read of our new adventures, so stay tuned.
In 2019 The Pink Royal UK composite team was created and they joined up with the Go Europe team in Barcelona, this was there 2nd trip abroad following a successful trip to Donegal last year, they were represented by 6 UK teams and had another successful festival, like the Go Europe team they had never paddled together before but made it to the ladies senior final, there were a total of 48 of us in Barcelona the 2nd photo is of both the teams together, friendships made from all over Europe.