Second Annual Dragon Boat Israel Festival Takes to Tiberias OneFamily Team Takes Home the Gold for Second Year in a Row
By: David Shear
Published: May 13th, 2013 in News » World
Approximately 700 participants came together in Tiberias for the second annual Dragon Boat Israel Festival held on May 9th and 10th, and once again, the winner was OneFamily, Israeli’s only national organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of Israel’s terror attack victims and their families.
The cooperative Canada-Israel initiative, has been very successful in both bringing the sport of dragon boat racing to Israel while tourism in the north of the country.
OneFamily assembled the largest and most eclectic Dragon Boat team – 88 paddlers ranging in age from 22-80, including 22 Canadian supporters who made the trip to Israel specifically for the race, and 69 Israeli injured young adults and bereaved parents.
“The key to dragon boat racing is figuring out how to keep 22 team members – all in one boat – in sync. It was really moving to see how the terror victims’ demeanors changed when racing – from heavy, unfocused, and unable to interact, to lightness and smiles,” said Pam Albert, head of OneFamily Canada and a second-year Dragon Boat team member. “This event presents supporters with a truly unique opportunity to connect with terror victims, while empowering the terror victims themselves. It deepened the connection between our communities and made us more aware of what is still needed.”
“One of the most important things we can do to help in the emotional rehabilitation of terror victims, particularly those who have been injured, is to give them a sense of normalcy,” said Rachel Moore, a OneFamily spokesperson.
“Sporting events like these, where survivors can feel like just another member of the team, are crucial to their recovery.”