Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Invisible victory for women in their 40s-70s.

This week I'm wondering why the Dominion Post only managed to rustle up two sentences about the CanSurvive womens dragon boat team winning the Team of the Year award in the Wellington Sports Awards on the 5 June. Here's what was written in Section B (Sports) page 13 on 5 June. 

"The CanSurvive Dragon Boat team were surprise winners of team of the year, beating out the Firebirds and and National Basketball league-winning Wellington Saints. The team is made up of breast cancer survivors and came third out of 101 teams at the International Breast Cancer Commission dragon boat competition in Florida in October."

It seems the Dom Post doesn't quite know what to do with the success of a group of 25 women in their 40s-70s, other than to say it was a 'surprise' win. Why the surprise? Because two of the women are in their 40's, 14 are in their 50's, six are their 60s and three are in their 70s? The youngest of the team of 25 is 44 and the eldest is 73.

And hello? In addition to coming "third out of 101 teams at the International Breast Cancer Commission dragon boat competition in Florida in October" they are also the national title holders of the New Zealand Dragon Boat Association Breast Cancer Division in 2014, multiple Bronze and Silver medallists in competition in Wellington, Auckland, and the National Dragon Boat regattas over the 2014-2015 summer season.

Julia Bracegirdle, one of women in the team, is one of the wonderful women featured in the 'Visible 60 Women at 60' book, exhibition and stage show.  Take a look at the video of Julia telling her story on stage in March as she brought the house down as she pulled medal after medal out from her lycra cycling gear. As well as the dragon boat racing, Julia has had individual success in triathlons, including Ironman over the last couple of years. It's unimaginable to me!  This is a woman who since she was 23 fought illness, including surviving breast cancer and was unable to be involved in sport until she was in her fifties. And you can be sure that every woman in this team will have an equally amazing story.  The team has been around since 2003. They train long and hard and through being positive and determined, inspire each other to achieve their success.

So why hasn't the Dom Post, as our largest local rag, come forward and interviewed these amazing women, taken photos and celebrated their success with the rest of our community? What's the problem?

I'll leave you to ponder that and love to hear your thoughts.

Good on the Kapiti Independent News for their great story about the win. It is warm and celebratory.

The links below will take you to more information about CanSurviveNZ.

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