Warrnambool’s South C Dragons, a women’s dragon boat team made up largely of breast cancer survivors, will compete in their biggest ever race this weekend.
The SCD, who train every Saturday morning at Hopkins River, have entered a crew in the inaugural Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Festival, a 200 metre race held at Victoria Harbour, Docklands, on Sunday.
They will compete in the senior women’s 10, the senior women’s 20, and the mixed 20 races.
And crew member Marg Cope, 68, said the team can’t wait to get their paddles in the water.
“Racing in the city with the festival atmosphere will be something completely to new to us,” she said.
You do your best go as hard as you can – there's definitively no love lost out there."
The club was founded in 2012 by breast cancer survivors and friends.
Supported by a small group of husbands and partners called "The Wranglers", the SCD's goal is to promote dragon boating as a pathway to health and well-being for women in between the ages of 50 and 70 years old.
And Mrs Cope, who joined the group six months after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, said it helped her through a difficult period.
"The SCD is all about fitness and camaraderie," Mrs Cope said.
"It helped me form lots of new friendships, got me support and lots of social activity.
"And the team-building aspect gives you some extra energy and helps you get out of bed early in the morning."
Mrs Cope said dragon boat racing is a social sport, suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.
But come Sunday at the Docklands, she expected the crew's competitive juices to be flowing.
“You do your best go as hard as you can," Mrs Cope said.
"There's definitively no love lost out there."