2022 has been a busy year for the Waikato Treasure Chests Dragon Boat Club, reports president Teresa Simonsen. “In April 2023 the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission Dragon Boat Festival is going to be held in our own backyard – Lake Karapiro. This is an exciting opportunity to offer survivors a once in a lifetime experience to compete against 84 breast cancer survivor teams from 14 different countries.” says Teresa.
Over the last 6 months the Treasure Chests have been making themselves visible and promoting the many advantages of dragon boating for women who have experienced breast cancer. They are also now on track to having two full competitive boats at the Regional and National regattas. One complete breast cancer survivors’ team and one ladies’ crew. This will be a first in the 20-year history of Waikato Treasure Chests.
Recently the Treasure Chests have increased their social media reach by regularly posting and sharing their training sessions and encouraging more women to join them. Through dedication and commitment their members have created networks with individuals and organisations to help boost team numbers.
They have been encouraged enormously by Sport Waikato and their Women and Girls in Sport initiative.
To top off a great year, the club has just been selected as a finalist in the 2022 Waikato Sport & Active Recreation Awards, in the Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion category.
“We were thrilled at this announcement” says Teresa. “The Team was joined by Matthew Cooper, Sport Waikato CEO, and were able to get him in the boat. Shoes off, suit pants rolled up, and pink lifejacket on! He experienced the energy, enthusiasm, raw power and fun we have in our water sport. His comments afterwards were, “such a cool experience with an outstanding group of humans”. This was a great affirmation of what we are doing and what we have achieved this year!”