Canberra first responders feel the fun and power of dragon boating. 

What better way to spend Canberra’s first real weekend out of lockdown than under big, beautiful, sunny spring skies on Lake Burley Griffin.

Fortem brought together a group of first responders and their families to participate in a morning of dragon boat fun with the amazing Invictus Dragon Boat Club!

This was a brilliant team activity and a great way to enjoy being free in the great outdoors while expending plenty of energy and connecting with other people.

With three stunning dragon boats on the water, paddlers had an amazing view of the Kingston Foreshore and surrounds.

“I was told the group were not competitive, but that was soon blown out of the water as people got comfortable in the boat and took to the racecourse just off Grevillea Park, Barton,” says Fortem’s Shannon Heathcote.

“A few races got hearts pumping and people smiling and laughing even more.”

One first responder participant said, “Wow! What a workout, I never realised how good a workout dragon boating was. Really enjoyed being out on the water for the first time in a long time.”

“Many who came along had never been out on a dragon boat, so it was wonderful watching the excitement and anticipation of being part of the crew,” Shannon says.

“We had expert members from Invictus guiding us all the way, we were in good hands. We knew the day was going to bring around some funny moments and stories to remember and laugh at, and it sure lived up to our expectations.”

One first responder participant said, “My son told me that he couldn’t stop laughing during the warm-up exercises which involved a lot of arm swinging and co-ordination. It was so nice to see him smile and enjoy doing an activity with us, especially after lockdown – out doing something active on the water was amazing.”

Back on shore at Grevillea Park, a BBQ breakfast was a hearty reward for happy paddlers.

“Bacon and egg rolls were also a chance for first responders and their families to connect with each other and members of Invictus,” Shannon says.

“Dragon boating really captures our 5 Ways to Wellbeing, specifically allowing participants to connect, learn a new skill, and be mindful and present in the activity. It also hopefully will result in some of those who tried the activity to continue with a love of dragon boat racing.”

Ever wanted to try Dragon Boating? Invictus Dragon Boat Club can help! Come along to Grevillea Park, Barton on Saturday, 6 November at 10:00am. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting a bit wet, sunscreen, and bring water. Invictus will provide the everything else. More info HERE.

Photos: Snaps By Sal