Every time Team Titanium rows underneath the bridge in Bedford channel during a practice, they shout out “believe.”
Some of the rowers on the Fort Langley Canoe Club’s senior C women’s Dragon boat team even have tattoos with the word.
The team of women, all 60 or older, is about to put its can-do attitude to the test again, by competing in the world club crew dragon boat championships that begin this weekend (April 1) in Adelaide, Australia.
They left for the competition this past weekend.
Prior to departure, team captain Maureen Spencer told the Times the team has improved since it qualified for the world championships by winning the bronze medal at the Canadian National Club Crew Championships in Welland, Ont. in June 2015.
“This team has come so far,” Spencer said.
Spencer said the Fort Langley Team is unique in that the rowers train together all year round, unlike many rival teams that are composites, assembled with people from different communities just to compete.
“Our team has been together as a team right from the beginning,”Spencer said.
Team Titanium was formed in 2012 after the International Dragon Boat Federation created a new competitive category called senior C for age 60 and up.
The next year, the team took bronze in the 2013 National Club Crew Championships.
The year after that, they qualified for the first senior C division of the world club crew Championships in Ravenna, Italy.
Titanium has competed at all the local regattas throughout the Dragon boat seasons since 2013, taking on all age groups. Last year, Titanium won gold at the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragonboat Festival in the women’s recreational A division and silver at the Dragon Zone 500m regatta mixed B division, which pitted them against both women’s and mixed teams, many of them younger.
Spencer credits coach Ben Lee for transforming a group of people, “most not paddlers” into a medal-winning team.
“We do believe,” Spencer said.
For more visit www.fortlangleycanoeclub.ca/dragonboat/teams/titanium.