Cancer survivors unite at regatta
IN JUST over a week, two ladies from the Clarence Valley Dragons Abreast will board a long-haul flight to Canada to compete against 2000 fellow paddlers at the International Dragon Boat Festival for breast cancer survivors
Jill Goddard, the president of the Clarence Valley branch of the national organisation, along with fellow Clarence Valley paddler Cindy Hewitt will represent the Clarence in Canada and Jill could not be more excited.
She has been involved with Dragons Abreast for the past four years after surviving breast cancer.
“To me this is everything. It is an opportunity for a whole bunch of ladies who have been on a very unpleasant journey to get together,” she said.
“There are people of all shapes and sizes, fitness levels and ages. We are all united by surviving cancer and to see smiles on faces that have been to hell and back is amazing,” Jill said.
More than 60 Australians will be heading to Peterborough near Toronto, and will be greeted by a festival atmosphere.
“The whole town is really getting behind it. They are putting on street parades and everything during the weekend of the regatta,” Jill said.
While the event is based around a bit of competition, Jill says that there is never any pressure on the crews.
“We are all winners just by being there. We all get medals and we have no real concern with who crosses the line first. It is about participation, awareness and being part of a team,” Jill said.
The three Australian crews that are competing in the regatta are Team Spirit, Team Hope and the crew Jill is captaining, Team Inspiration.