While the 2022 Canadian Dragon Boat Championships have yet to start, Langley’s team D’Fyance women’s dragon boat team is already feeling like winners.
That’s because this year, for the first time, D’Fyance, who compete out of the Fort Langley Canoe Club, will be in the new Senior D division for 69 and older competitors when the four-day national competition begins Aug. 18 at Parc Jean Drapeau in Montreal.
The new division is the result of sustained lobbying by D’Fyance team captain Ruth Bedell and fellow dragon boaters.
“We have been fighting for five years to get a Senior D division for 69 and over,” Bedell told the Langley Advance Times.
“It is a major victory,” the Walnut Grove resident commented.
Bedell said during the years of lobbying, the reluctance by the sport administrators to approve a division for that age range wasn’t clear.
“I guess they didn’t think there would be enough teams,” Bedell remarked.
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Bedell, who is 75, heads a team of 27 paddlers aged 69 to 82 and reports there are teams from White Rock and Abbotsford in the same age range.
In March, a “Ruth Bedell Senior D Perpetual Trophy” was created by Dragon Boat Canada “in recognition of the determined work that Ruth has undertaken to have the Senior D category viable across Canada and established at the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships.”
It will be awarded to the overall top ranking Canadian Senior D (69-plus) women’s team at the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships, starting this year.
“I’m a little embarrassed about that,” Bedell remarked.
The next step, she said, is to get the Senior D 69-plus division recognized internationally, ideally in time for the world championships, to be in Ravenna, Italy in 2024.
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For more information on the Fort Langley Canoe Club and drop-in dragon boat sessions, visit
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