PADDLE TO INSPIRE
Cebu Pink Paddlers, made up of breast cancer survivors, win two golds in Taiwan race
A group of breast cancer survivors from Cebu put up an inspiring performance in the Keelung International Dragon Boat Festival in Keelung City, Taiwan.
The team, composed of drummer Janice Kintanar, steerswoman Levi Abelides, Anne Georgia Solante, Mirasol Vinas, Mary Ann Bojos, Eleanor Mercado, Aida Delos Reyes, Marichu Dumaran, Ma. Liberty Ronoa, Rosalie Cobre, Sara Jane Villegas, Judith Beltran, Eden Paluca and Nonie Percy, won two gold medals in the breast cancer survivor category of the race.
The team, co-coached by Christian Ian Sy, topped the 200-meter race yesterday by clocking one minute and 57.29 seconds for its second gold.
The Long Beach Pink Dragons came in second with a time of 2:03.75 while Dragon Abreast Hong Kong finished third, clocking 2:06.71.
The first gold of the team came from the 500m race last Monday, where it finished with a time of 5:09.14.
According to coach Sy, the team, formed just last February, worked hard to prepare for this race.
“We started formal training three months ago. The ladies trained four times a week for sea training, three times a week for land training, and some pool training in between,” he said.
It wasn’t smooth sailing, though, for the Cebu team at first as it struggled to get into rhythm.
“It was really a challenge at first. We needed time to get into the rhythm,” Sy said.
With this achievement, Sy and the rest of the team hope that they can inspire and empower women.
“[The team’s] advocacy is to spread awareness that early detection saves lives,” he said. “We paddle to admire the survivors, inspire the fighters, honor and remember the taken.”
Meanwhile, another Cebu team, the Cebu Mighty Dragons, also had a successful campaign, winning two silver medals in the women’s straight race.
The Mighty Dragons finished second in the 200m and 500m women’s races.
The Philippine Navy Dragon Boat Team won the gold in both races.
The members of the Cebu Mighty Dragons are Haide Acuña, Kareen Benavides, Killiaen Marie Ferrer, Jade Abellana, Jocelyn Hortizano, Michelle Malicay, Lorelie Casilan, Jean Dalumpinez Bolaño, Remia Buenacosa, Hyra dela Cruz, Cora Quiamco, Diomarie Grace Ferrer, Tj Camacho, steerswoman Priscilla Pinky Castillo of Bugsay Pilipinas, team captain Arnold Guinocor, and drummer Arianne Montillano.
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