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Paddling through triumphs and tides: a year in review

Updated: Feb 12

As we restart the rate watch and setup our stall for the year of the dragon, it is timely to reflect on the catch that 2023 was...

Ok, enough of the puns. But it really was a standout year for me. I can say I am so proud to be a (long standing) member of DSA.

If I think back, the highlights surround the elegant 40th Year Anniversary, the volunteer takeover at Rhodes parkrun for International Women’s Day, showcasing our sport at the Rhodes Moon Festival. the bustling Bunnings BBQs, cross training with Rhodes Runners, the Wednesday Workouts, the development pathways for our members (for accreditation of new sweeps and coaches), expansion of our watercraft fleet, the epic inaugural gym challenge, the Christmas OC showdown with crafts docking at Cabarita Park from all sides of Parramatta river, and even the variety of our training drills which keeps the intensity boiling with Premier & Senior crews. I could keep going. These of course are underpinned by our amazing & consistent results at this seasons regattas, as well as solidifying qualification for the IDBF Club Crew World Championships in Italy 2024.

More recently I’ve been inspired by the energy and passion from our members to perform beyond club level – be it the Sydney Metro team in Region v’s Regions event at State Championships, or team NSW at the 2024 Australian Championships – with a staggering 40% of members travelling to Perth seeking selection to be a state rep. These successes or ambitions are truly satisfying. But they are worthless or not possible without ‘the people’ – the camaraderie, commitment and accountability from our members. I am convinced these exposures provide key ingredients to drive personal and career growth. It is there for the taking.

THANK YOU to those who consistently turn up to train making our team #strongerfitterfaster, to those who check in with others “RUOK”, to those who make DSA fun, and to our rockstar board of directors who make it happen. This collective energy and passion is what makes DSA a special part of Rhodes and the broader dragon boating community.  

I hope you are as excited and eager as I am to launch into 2024 and catch some goals.

Declan Ruane

DSA Club Captain

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