A member of the Central Coast Dragon Boat Club has been selected for the NSW team that will compete in the Australian Dragon Boating Championships.
Blue Haven resident, Alison Newell, will join some of the state’s best paddlers as they battle it out for glory in the ACT, come April, in the Australian Dragon Boating Championships.
A breast cancer survivor, Newell said she could never have imagined being selected for the NSW team after picking up the paddle just 11 months ago.
Alison said that she could not have achieved this feat without the support of her local club.
“I had my last surgery in December, 2017.
“After being given the all clear to get on with my life I was looking for a support group, and that’s when I found the club,” Newell said.
Newell went along to a come and try session with the club, which is based at the Marine Rescue Base at Toukley.
After one paddle Newell said she was hooked.
“Exercise is crucial for cancer survivors as it decreases the chances of recurrence, so I was thrilled to find a support group that would help me get active,” she said.
The Central Coast Dragon Boat Club is a unique sporting group in that many of its members are breast cancer survivors.
The club has two internal groups, the Sea Dragons, who make up the club’s competitive racing team, and the Coast Busters, a group of cancer survivors who race along with the Sea Dragons.
For Newell, the Coast Busters are like a second family, and she said their support had been invaluable to her during the months she spent reclaiming her life.
When she’s not training with the NSW team, Newell is on the water with her fellow clubbies, who are eagerly preparing for the 2019 Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Regatta, which takes place on Sydney’s Darling Harbour, on February 9.
The club is holding a come and try day on March 17.
Interview, Jan 31
Alison Newell, Central Coast Dragon Boat Club
Dilon Luke, Journalist