DANTI President’s Report 2017

This year has welcomed 4 new pink members to the club under an alliance with BCNA, with a one year membership being offered by Danti to encourage more breast cancer survivors to join the club. We will continue to work closely with BCNA in the future.

In November Danti members Karyn and Beth joined the Redcliff Survivors team CanSurvive at the 2016 Pan Pacific Masters Games in Queensland. We also raced across two fabulous days with other North Esk members as crew with the Fire and Water Dragons from Cairns and Townsville. Our club has been invited to join the Fire and Water Dragons at future PanPacs which we will gladly accept.

The regular February Regatta on Lake Barrington was this year split into two regattas, with Nipples on Ripples hosting a more general pink and community regatta which included a dedicated DAA race, plus the always emotional Flowers on the Water ceremony.

DBTas hosted the State Titles the following month at which the North Esk team showed a real fighting spirit to come third behind the two sporting Derwent Storm teams. There was no DAA breast cancer survivors’ race, but instead, an all cancer survivor race. This is becoming more common at AusDBF events, due to the fact that many DAA clubs cannot field a team for the other races at these events and can’t justify the travel to a regatta just for one race. It is encouraging to note that the Masters Games in Tasmania in October has included a DAA race for BC survivors.

In July 2018 Karyn and Beth will join DAA Team Inspiration to race in Florence, Italy. Beth has attended two International Breast Cancer Paddling Commission events, one in Canada and one in Florida, where past Danti member Wilma Ashby joined the team as well. Beth intends to continue to paddle internationally for as long as she can hold a paddle and get into a boat.

On the home front Danti celebrated its 10 th year of existence with a reunion in May. All past members were invited to attend the reunion, held at Linda and John’s welcoming house and it was a disappointment that the crappy weather prevented us from taking the Tittilator out on the river at 10am with some of the original committee members in it.

As a follow up to this 10 year landmark, Craig did the behind the scenes work which enabled Danti to present medallions at the Awards night in June, to the 4 paddlers who were original members of the club in 2007, 10 years ago. Coach Paul, Jean, Merran and Beth Lesa won the Danti award for being the most enthusiastic new paddler who has totally embraced the philosophy of DAA that “there IS life after a diagnosis of breast cancer”.

I heartily thank the Danti committee who this year have revised the Constitution to bring it into line with the revised DAA Constitution, and with the Memorandum of Understanding between Danti and North Esk Dragon Boat Club. The committee also did a clean-up of files, documents, stock and all the paraphernalia collected during the past 10 years. It mostly now resides in four big plastic bins on wheels in Beth’s house.

Paddling time this year has been somewhat disrupted due to the very important rebuilding and improvement of the NERC pontoon. I thank Craig and all the club members who have leapt into the fray to cart the boat and equipment around to the Tailrace as often as possible to ensure we get a paddle on a Saturday morning, even when it is -2degrees.

Once again Ros Lewis engineered a record breaking Bunnings sausage sizzle fundraiser and of course it’s great to see a good club spirit out selling the Record whenever Hawthorn is playing in Launceston. These fundraisers are the lifeblood of our two clubs and I thank all club members who have assisted with these events whenever they can.

Beth, as DAA co-ordinator, attended the DAA biannual Conference in Melbourne in April. This meeting of representatives from all over Australia, many of whom struggle, like us, to keep our small clubs afloat, reinforces for me, the reasons WHY we keep Danti alive and paddling. ie. we offer those who have had a diagnosis of breast cancer a unique environment in which to get active, have fun, and overcome a sense of isolation that this diagnosis can sometimes bring.

In my own words, “Cancer sucks, Paddling rocks”. So let’s get on with life as Dragon Boat Paddlers.

Beth Sowter.


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