Abbotsford woman part of dragonboat team in Turkey

Cathy Terpstra joined the International Pink Sisters.

Dragon boat competitors participate in a carnation ceremony in Israel. Cathy Terpstra from Abbotsford is at the far left

Dragon boat competitors participate in a carnation ceremony in Israel. Cathy Terpstra from Abbotsford is at the far left

An Abbotsford woman travelled to Instanbul, Turkey to join the International Pink Sisters dragon boat team.

Cathy Terpstra, who is a member of the local Spirit Abreast dragon boat team for breast cancer survivors, paddled in Israel and Turkey, bringing home a gold medal.

International Pink Sisters was awarded the trophy for Best Community Message.

The team was composed of women from Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.S. and was the first women’s squad to race in Turkey.

The crew had a female steersperson, which had never before been done in Istanbul.

Because the dock people were not sure the women could handle the steer, they instead sent a male steersperson and a male interpreter, meaning the team carried the weight of two men in their boat.

The crowds cheered as the crews passed the finish line, and they crew carnations in the water as one of the crew members sang That’s What Friends are For.

A carnation ceremony was held to remember those who have died from breast cancer and to celebrate life for survivors.

From the team’s visit to Turkey, a program has been started for breast cancer survivors to do exercises. The same people hope to start a Run for the Cure event.

For more information about the Fraser Valley dragon boat team, visit spiritabreast.org.