The National Dragon Boat Championships on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast held on 4th March, was a proud and memorable event for local representatives of the Western NSW squad, Warren and Donna Edwards, Bill and Beth Thomas, and Rochelle Smith (Parkes) and Claire Davis and Chris Favelle (Forbes).
The team did not take away any medals this time but they brought home the invaluable experience of paddling 500 metre races in a highly esteemed national which is an amazing achievement on its own. Personal best times in all race categories entered, Women’s, Mixed and Opens, was achieved.
“It was a fabulous day on Lake Kawana,” said state coach Deb Clarke. “Each and every one paddled so strongly with true determination and commitment. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Assistant coach Lou Linke agreed, congratulating the team on a great campaign: “You did Regional NSW proud!”
Many special moments were shared by the ‘Westies’ as they were affectionately known on the day. Not least were attending the opening ceremony together, their shared barbeque, pre-race and post-race dinners. One of their most fun moments was jumping into the ocean current together in the nationals uniforms at the end of racing day and forming a starfish as they floated together towards the beach in peals of laughter.
By the time they said goodbye to their ‘Westie’ teammates from Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Lithgow and Wagga Wagga, they all realised that the best part of the whole experience had been being together as a team, becoming true friends and genuinely loving each other’s company as they raced together and played together.