It was a beautiful sunny day on Sunday 19th November when eighteen excited paddlers representing Northeast Health Wangaratta cast off onto the water of Wodonga’s Gateway Lake as part of the NHW Tatsu Warriors Dragon Boat racing team.
The BraveHearts Dragon Boat Club annual regatta hosts a community event for local corporate and community teams, to experience the thrill and comradeship of dragon boating, and to raise awareness of the support and friendship that BraveHearts brings to the region’s local community who have been touched by cancer.
Each year, NHW enters an excited team of staff members and volunteers; committing to two intense training sessions, and a day of heart-thumping racing. Team numbers were slightly down this year and included 10 paddlers who had not previously paddled, keen to try a different sport and activity. A full team for a Dragon Boat consists of 20 paddlers, and one drummer, who race a 200m length of water against three to four other boats and teams. At this length, each race runs for about a minute, with the team most able to keep their paddling in time, often coming through with the win.
Entries in 2017 came from both community and corporate teams such as Albury City, North East Water, Scots School, Beechworth Secondary School, Dederang community, TAFE NSW, and Tallangatta Health. While the friendly inter-team rivalry is always fun, team bonding and community is the take-away benefit of our participation, as the team brings together staff from different departments and areas of the organisation in a relaxed friendly family environment. In 2017, NHW staff came from Midwifery, Education, Emergency, Health Information, Theatre, Pharmacy, Ward Admin, Coffee Shoppe, Kitchen and volunteers.
After a challenging event last year, the NHW Tatsu Warriors were determined to fare better, and this was shown in our results of the heats, improving each time to finally break the 1 minute barrier!
Heat 1 – 2nd (1.03)
Heat 2 – 2nd (1.02)
Heat 3 – 3rd (0.59)
Heat 4 – 2nd (0.59)
Our heat 4 efforts brought a new excitement to the team, as it was announced that we had made it into the Social Division finals race. We went into the Final with a renewed vigour and were very happy to paddle together for a strong finish to come in 3rd place. WE RECEIVED MEDALS!
Well done to all the team, for taking time out of their busy lives to represent NHW at such a fun event.
Bring on 2018.