A Spanish Adventure

Bourne Water Dragons goes to Alicante for the 'Jan Collins Memorial Dragon Boating Festival.'

Bourne Water Dragons goes to Alicante for the 'Jan Collins Memorial Dragon Boating Festival.'

October 2019 saw the team of Bourne Water Dragons arrive in Torrevieja, Alicante, for the first, 'Janet Collins BCS (Breast Cancer Survivors) Memorial' and what a fitting tribute it was too.

Janet Collins was instrumental in establishing the first Breast Cancer Team on the south-eastern Mediterranean coast of Spain. She did a tremendous job speaking and promoting the Breast Cancer sport to officials, doctors, nurses and local ladies culminating in the birth of 'Flamenca Rosa' in 2016.

As we headed to the festival, we were warmly greeted by the wonderful 'Flamenca Rosa' team.

Later during the festival, when all the paddling was complete, a Flower Ceremony took place. This tradition is to honour and remember our dear lost friends and teammates who lost their fight with cancer, Jan being the most celebrated. The silence and respectfulness was moving as we peacefully floated flowers on the sea, each saying a quiet prayer to ourselves.

The sea soon became a wash, with teams splashing about in the water as they mingled, sharing a common interest.

After the event, the ladies in Bourne Water Dragons were presented with colourful Spanish shawls as a memento. The organisers cooked a huge paella served with bread, salad and refreshments for an evening meal. The hundreds of participants socialised together with no barriers and danced the evening away.

Many thanks go to David Hardman (Jan's partner ) for all his hard work and commitment in organising this very successful trip for BWD, for which we are very grateful.

Whilst we didn't win the cup, we did come home with a medal which our team wore with pride, bearing in mind that we are mainly members over 50 and cancer survivors, paddling against much younger teams.

We look forward to participating in many more events in Spain and other locations as Bourne Water Dragons grow from strength to strength.

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