Members of the Fort Langley-based D-Fyance dragonboat team (L to R) Ruth Bedell, Barb Maestri, Lorraine McKee and June Goin, dropped off Christmas gifts for seniors at the Langley Lodge on Friday, Dec. 11. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Members of the Fort Langley-based D-Fyance dragonboat team (L to R) Ruth Bedell, Barb Maestri, Lorraine McKee and June Goin, dropped off Christmas gifts for seniors at the Langley Lodge on Friday, Dec. 11. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

A better Christmas for some Langley seniors, thanks to dragonboat team

D-Fyance, a group of competitors 70 and older, got together to buy gifts

Some Langley seniors will have a better Christmas this season, thanks to members of the Fort Langley-based D-Fyance dragonboat racing team.

On Friday, Dec. 11, members of the team dropped off gifts for 22 seniors who belong to a peer outreach group at the Langley Lodge residence in Langley.

Gifts included puzzles, toques, socks, mitts and more, said team member Ruth Bedell.

“I think we all went over the limit,” she laughed.

“I know I did.”

Bedell said the team, made up of women 70 and older, with the oldest being 82, just wanted to show support for seniors during a difficult time when many have to remain isolated because of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ ALSO: Langley senior goes from donating clothes to working back stage

“They’re all going through the same thing as us,” she observed.

Members of D-Fyance have been unable to practice and are trying to get by with online workouts while they wait for the pandemic to ease.

“We’re not paddling,” Bedell said.

“In Dragonboats you’re far too close. The whole club has shut down. It’s very frustrating for all of us.”

‘D-Fyance’ is believed to be the only competitive Dragonboat crew made up of paddlers in the 70-plus age group in Canada.

It takes its name from the fact that current dragonboat age categories only go to “C” for 60-plus, and the D’Fyance competitors would like to see a “D” for 70-plus paddlers introduced by the regulators of the sport.

READ ALSO: Dragon boaters paddle home with medals

In 2019, D’Fyance beat younger teams to take home a bronze medal from the Pan American Club Crew Championships in Tobago.

Bedell added the team is looking for new paddlers for when the dragonboat teams can return to the water.

Anyone interested is asked to email

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