IT’S DO or die for Wagga’s Dragon Boat Regatta.
Organisers are hoping to see a strong field of entries later this month for the third regatta held in the city.
Without a strong field, there’s a significant chance the sport will not hold the event on Lake Albert again in the foreseeable future.
Dragon Boats can track their origin back 2000 years to medieval China and have been adopted in the modern age as a way to help support people recovering from breast cancer surgery.
Publicity officer of Wagga’s club, Bidgee Dragons Abreast, Ann Buick said the sport was much more than good therapy.
“It’s a fantastic team sport, it’s not a question of fitness or strength … it’s all about timing, and having to keep up with the first two paddlers,” Ms Buick said.
“It’s something different and it’s a lot of fun.”
The club is hoping to attract up to 20 teams to enter their community group competition for the regatta.
Last year, 14 teams from the defence force, local doctors, sporting clubs and businesses.
Several Dragon Boat clubs will be travelling from Canberra, Albury and beyond for the regatta on Lake Albert.
Ms Buick said the state body in charge of the sport would review the event.
“After this regatta, it will be decided if it worth running one down here again,” she said.
Dragon Boats NSW brings the boats, officials and more equipment to run the day.
“It’s too big of an event for us to run ourselves.”
Ms Buick said the regatta attracted significant benefits from people travelling across the state to Wagga.
“People come for two nights, it’s a fantastic use of Apex Park, fantastic for fitness and the local economy.”
The Dragon Boat regatta is open to men and women with mixed and single sex teams – of up to 20 people.
“We really want the local community to get behind this event’ the club’s regatta co-ordinator Nic Carusella said.
“Dragon boat clubs and their supporters come from across the region and interstate to participate, thus giving a valuable boost to the local economy.”
Mr Carusella said having the regatta as a permanent event in the city’s calendar would be great for Wagga.
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