Dragons Abreast to host Mini Field of Women in Port Lincoln

EYE TO EYE: Sue Bishop of Dragons Abreast with one of the team's dragon heads which adorn the team's dragon boats. Photo: Jarrad Delaney
EYE TO EYE: Sue Bishop of Dragons Abreast with one of the team's dragon heads which adorn the team's dragon boats. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

Port Lincoln dragon boat team Dragons Abreast will be "awakening the dragon" this weekend as they also pay tribute to those affected by breast cancer in the community.

The impact of breast cancer is a common theme for the members of Dragons Abreast Port Lincoln, made up of survivors and supporters united in spreading breast cancer awareness while also enjoying the physical activity of dragon boat racing.

This Sunday, October 31 Dragons Abreast Port Lincoln is holding a Mini Field of Women on the foreshore lawns near the playground from 10am with the community invited to pay tribute to those affected by breast cancer.

People will have the chance to write personal messages on pink lady silhouettes which will then be planted into the ground.

Dragons Abreast coordinator Sue Bishop said the team were involved with Breast Cancer Network Australia and wanted to keep breast cancer awareness in people's minds.

"It's really important to us to keep bringing the focus to breast cancer awareness and the necessity of getting checked by a doctor or do a self examination," she said.

Mrs Bishop said BCNA figures showed one in seven women were diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, 55 people a day in Australia and while survival rates were better than they had been in the past, they were not as good in rural and remote areas due to difficulty in accessing treatment.

This will be held in conjunction with Dragons Abreast holding their 'Awakening of the Dragon' ceremony, also known as 'Dotting of the Eyes' where representatives dot the eyes of the carved dragon head attached to the boats which symbolises the dragon ending its slumber and re-energising its spirit. After the eyes are dotted rice dumplings are tossed into the water to appease the dragon spirits and keep the boat safe.

Local McGrath Foundation breast cancer nurse Michelle Lydeamore will be a guest speaker at the event and said it was a great gesture for Dragons Abreast to hold the Mini Field of Women in conjunction with their ceremony.

"It shows support and pays tribute to women and families in our community affected by breast cancer," she said.

"October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it gives us a chance to focus on breast cancer awareness and provide a reminder for everyone to check for breast changes and see their local GP if changes persist."

Ms Lydeamore said Dragons Abreast epitomised good health through camaraderie and exercise and during cancer recovery regular exercise was beneficial in reducing cancer related fatigue, minimising loss of bone strength and enhancing quality of life.

Bakers Delight are also supporting the event by providing pink buns for morning tea.

Dragons Abreast is inviting people to give it a go, the group paddle every Sunday morning at 9am at the Port Lincoln Marina. Anyone interested is invited to ring Mrs Bishop on 0427 830 465.