People choose to join a sports team for a lot of reasons, but for the Amazons Perth Dragon Boat Club it is about connecting with people who have a shared experience.
The Amazons were founded in 2000 and are a member group of the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) catering for breast cancer survivors and supporters. Amazons club treasurer Susan Troncone said while their individual stories are not something they actively talk about very often, the support is uplifting.
“Being asked ‘are you ok’ by someone who has been through a similar experience, and knowing that you have the support of everyone in your team in difficult times, is morale boosting in itself,” she said.
Many of Susan’s own team-mates have become dear and lifelong friends and they are all strong women.
“We are a team of independent, strong women who come together to paddle as a team. Everyone gives their own personal 100% each time they get in the boat, regardless of what else is going on in their life,” she said.
The Amazons compete in the Australian Masters Games and Susan’s personal favourite memory is receiving their team’s first Masters Games Medal (Silver) in Geelong in 2013.
The sport has seen a steady increase in participation since its introduction to the games in 1999. In 2019 Dragon Boat racing was the highest participant sport in 2019 with 934 participants.
Members of the Amazons Club range for 40 – 80 years old, proving that anyone can participate.
“Dragon Boating is such a fun sport that you can participate in regardless of your age or gender. It’s great to see women participating in greater numbers and sharing the fun experience that it offers.”
Dragon Boating has been one of the fastest growing sports at the Australian Masters Games (AMG). The 17th edition of the AMG saw 934 people participate in dragon boating and 54% of the participants were women. The AMG is hoping to surpass this number in October at the 2021 Australian Masters Games in Perth.