CONGRATULATIONS - To BRD's newest life member.
Edith Cooper has been a member of Brisbane River Dragons Dragon boat and Outrigger Canoe Club and Dragons Abreast Brisbane and the original ‘MBT’ team since 1 October 2000.
Edith first heard about dragon boating when she and Janelle Gamble attended a Qld Cancer Council fundraiser in 1999. At that meeting Edith heard about the research work of Dr Don McKenzie and breast cancer survivors from ‘Abreast in a Boat’ presented at the BCNA Conference in 1998 that inspired the development of first breast cancer dragon boat team in 1999.
After that meeting Janelle Gamble and Edith worked together to start a breast cancer dragon boat team for Brisbane. Through Edith’s work at the Qld Cancer Council, Edith recruited a few extra members to form the first breast cancer team who paddled at the National Championships in Darwin in 2000.
Edith was a tireless fundraiser for the fledgling Brisbane breast cancer club and after the first paddle at Darwin worked with other original members to raise the funds required to obtain the first boats for MBT. In 2001 the SouthBank Corporation donated two boats for breast cancer paddling. These were old wobbly boats which later became part of the BRD fleet of boats.
Since Edith’s commencement at BRD and DAB she has encouraged the participation of breast cancer survivors and supporters into the sport of dragon boat paddling. Edith has filled various roles as a paddler, drummer, sweep for both DAB and BRD at numerous social, corporate, regional, interstate, national and international competition level regattas and trained other BRD/MBT members in the skill of sweeping.
Edith participated in the 10 year anniversary paddle of Abreast in a Boat in Vancouver Canada. She swept the winning boat at Abreast in Australia in 2007 where MBT won both finals. She swept the DAB team at the IBCPC regatta in Peterborough in 2010, was the sweep for DAB for the Club Crew World Championships in Hong Kong and Sweep for DAA’s Team Inspiration at the IBCPC festival in at Sarasota USA in 2014.
In 2011 Edith won the Queensland Cancer Council Volunteer of the Year Award for 2011 for voluntary work for the Qld Cancer Council to promote both breast cancer and general cancer awareness and for her work in commencing a dragon boat team for breast cancer survivors. She has attended various BNCA / Reach for Recovery conferences to promote the benefits of dragon boat paddling for breast cancer survivors.
Edith was elected as Coordinator for DAB in 2013-14 and also filled the role of Liaison Coordinator between DAB and BRD in the same period. She gave a strong contribution constitution review for BRD DB and OC as well as contributing to the DAB Constitution group.
Edith has been a member of BRD and DAB for almost 15 years and throughout this time has been an ever willing Club member who readily mentors members across all disciplines of the dragon boat sport and continues to coach new sweeps.