The team flew to a five-day training camp in preparation for the event, held in Welland from August 19 to 23. There were 70 juniors from all over Australia competing, including 15 from Marist Sisters’ College. The girls also paddle for three different clubs.
Competitors came from Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada. The girls at Marist Sisters’ from Years 8 to 11 have been paddling for more than three years and train three to four times a week, morning and evening. The school’s Development Officer Leanne Mezzina said all the girls had paddled for NSW this year before attending the World Championships. They found themselves at the international meet after Dragon Boat Australia put out an expression of interest for competitors and the students passed a fitness test.
Dragon boat racing is a team effort and requires lots of training. “There are 22 people on a boat at a time so there are quite a few people involved in a team,” said Ms Mezzina. The students were among a total of 350 Australians to compete at the event.