Cooloola Dragon Boat Club December Article

Cooloola Dragon Boat Club - Our friendly, fun-loving Dragon Helen Hurworth

Our friendly, fun-loving Dragon Helen Hurworth

Another year gone! How do they fly by so quickly? It seems almost as soon as 2022 began it is nearing its end.

So, with that in mind, it is time for the Cooloola Dragon Boat Club to wish all members of our community a wonderful Christmas with friends and family and an equally wonderful New Year.  Every member of our club wishes every member of our community all the very best for the festive season.

At time of writing, the Cooloola Dragon Boat Club is still in preparations for the Manly Regatta at Lake Kawana on 27 November and the Dragons Abreast Gold Coast Christmas on the Creek event.

Also, some members of the club are working hard at getting fit and will soon be ready to try out for the Central Queensland team to compete at the Australian Nationals which are being held at Wodonga in April next year. We wish them all the best in their attempts to be selected as part of the team.

If you are interested in coming and having some dragon fun call Sandra on 0402 352 756.

Profile:  Helen Hurworth – Long Term Club Member and Assistant Coach

Contrary to some assertions, Dragons cannot cook toast by simply breathing on either side of a slice of bread. Rather, one of the Cooloola Dragon Boat club members who clearly demonstrates that Dragons are friendly, outgoing, fun-loving people is Helen Hurworth.

Helen’s paddling career began in 2001 in Darwin where she paddled for three clubs: the Arafura Dragons, the Bayview Dragons, and the Northern Territory Pink Ladies.

Most of her training in Darwin took place in the marina at Cullen Bay and Bayview but sometimes they would go out into the open sea through the marina locks. On some of these expeditions they encountered wall-to-wall schools of box-jellyfish. As you can imagine, no one in the team was keen to take a dip in the briny to cool off!!

Even in this early stage of her paddling career, Helen was showing clear signs of her competitiveness and commitment to her various teams.

In 2003 she was picked for the Northern Territory team to compete in Thailand Dragon Boat regattas. Unfortunately, her husband Bill suffered a workplace injury at just the wrong time and Helen had to forego her trip to Thailand.

At the Arafura games in 2005 Helen and her team-mates competed again and managed to come away with a silver medal and two bronzes. She also competed in the Flying Fox festival at Katherine Gorge most years between 2003 and 2007.

Helen competed in several long-distance events on the Ord River in Western Australia. She paddled in the 55-kilometre events in 2003 and 2004 with Darwin-based clubs and then again in 2016 with the Hervey Bay Dragons.

Helen has been a long-term member of the Cooloola Dragon Boat Club. Bringing all of her vast paddling experience to the club, she joined the Cooloola Dragons in 2007.

Shortly after joining the club, she travelled for 18 months with Bill and consequently did not paddle during that time. While travelling over the years Helen has paddled with Hobart Dragons, Mildura, Streaky Bay and Albany.

Upon returning from her travels, she was selected to paddle in the State Titles in 2009 and 2011. Later on, she competed in the 2012 Nationals in Melbourne as part of the first ever Queensland Regional Team.

She also competed in the 2014 Nationals where she was in the bronze-medal-winning team.  Later still, in 2015 she paddled with the Albany Dragons in the Australian Masters held in Adelaide.

Several years ago, Helen successfully completed a Dragon Boat coaching course and now steps in to coach the Cooloola Dragon Boat Club members when other coaches cannot be present.

All members of the club wish to thank Helen for her input to the club and for her cheery disposition and her many other positive characteristics — we won’t mention chatter or the accompanying ‘zip it’ or ‘gaffer tape’ comments.

Thank you Helen!

Toni Archer

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