In 2001 two Bendigo Breast Cancer Survivors travelled to Melbourne each week to train with the first Victorian “Dragons Abreast” boat crew, and then competed in the Melbourne International Dragon Boat Festival in March of 2002.
After receiving interest from many Breast Cancer Survivors in Bendigo it was decided to start a team locally. We were put in touch with the Gunbower Aquatic Festival after being informed that they had a boat, which they would gladly hand over to Dragons Abreast. After many hours of labour from some helpful husbands and members and some kind donations of materials from local businesses we were able to refurbish the boat and were training on Lake Weeroona by November 2002.
We have been involved in many Dragonboat regattas and other community events since that time including trips to Canberra, Adelaide, Darling Harbour, Falls Creek, Geelong and Melbourne. The camaraderie and the friendships we have made have enriched our lives.
We have many “able breasted friends” as a support crew.
Some other activities we have been involved in are Relay for Life, Canoeing, Rock climbing, MCG pink lady event and bike rides.
“I joined last year and it has become an absolute delight to become a paddler!!!
Cancer can be emotionally very isolating and to be part of this team, to belong, to form lasting friendships within an atmosphere of support, fun and excitement, has been an enriching experience.
It’s a great way to become physically stronger, particularly in the lungs, arms and shoulders. Sitting quietly in the boat out in the water is very peaceful.” Carolyn Johnson 2004
Box 410 Golden Square, Victoria. 3555