Five years in pink

Florence’s Dragon Ladies celebrate

Editorial Staff
February 24, 2011

With their team established on Valentine's Day in 2006, the Florence Dragon Ladies have been rowing the Arno for five years. To mark the milestone, they celebrated on February 12 at the Palagio di Parte Guelfa. The party attracted some important local figures, among them CONI provincial president Eugenio Giani; municipal superintendent of social policy Stefania Saccardi; municipal superintendent of tourism and equal opportunities, Elisabetta Cianfanelli; Giovanna De Palma, president of the Lions Firenze Ponte Vecchio; and Orietta Malvisi Moretti, representative of the Rotary Club in Fiesole.


The team was founded by the Florentine section of the Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i Tumori in conjunction with the city rowing club, the Società Canottieri Comunali. Since then, the team, made up of breast-cancer survivors aged 45 to 77, has been training twice a week and has competed in numerous local and national races and events.


‘The idea to unite an important battle and an important message of survival and hope of the women of the Florence Dragon Ladies has been a success. They have gained recognition both in Europe and in the world, thanks to excellent results, both in terms of sports and image. The passion of the Florence Dragon Ladies for the activities they do has become contagious in the city and among women, who have banded closer together over these five years. This is something that is destined to continue, because of its great success, on all fronts,' Giani told those in attendance.


‘I am happy about this celebration because I feel that the Florence Dragon Lady team is one of the most enjoyable and most beautiful things in Florence; it unites the fight against disease, sport and the desire to do something good together. The Florence Dragon Ladies represent the spirit of Florentines, the spirit to never give up and keep going ahead. On behalf of the city and the Florence administration, I am proud that Florence is represented by women like them, in Italy and the world,' said Saccardi.


‘This year, I thought about dedicating March 8 to women who play sports,' Cianfanelli said, ‘I am honoured that the Florence Dragon Ladies accepted my invitation to participate.' Indeed, the team will take part in Women's Day celebrations on March 8 with the Canottieri Comunali. Starting at 3:30pm, the Dragon Ladies will take those interested on a ride along the Arno, from the Canottieri's clubhouse at the Ponte Vecchio.


Their next big event is the Florence Dragon Boat Pink Meeting 2011, scheduled for May 26 to 28, during which women's dragon boat teams from Italy, Europe and around the world will gather in Florence to swap stories and promote public awareness. Professionals will also be present to discuss breast cancer prevention and survival strategies.


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Did you know?

Dragon-boat racing is one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world.  The boat takes its name from the dragon head and tail decorating the original Chinese crafts. A little over 12 metres long, it is powered by up to 20 long-handled paddles and a steering paddle at the stern. The pace is set by the beat of a drum fitted in the bow. (See feature in TF 110 for details.)

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