Australian Masters Games

Dragon boat and drums for three generations of the Dobak family

5 September 2019

Dragon boat and drums for three generations of the Dobak family

North Avoca’s Kathy Dobak is travelling to Adelaide for some family time, fitness and fun on the water as a first time participant in the 17th Australian Masters Games in Adelaide this October.

The 73-year-old dragon boat participant is joining her daughter Justine Roberts in the boat, with granddaughter Portia set to ensure the paddlers stroke in time to the beat of her drumming.

Dobak’s daughter was the first to take to dragon boating, responding to a recruitment drive for more paddlers from her colleagues at the hospital where she works as a nurse. She loved it, raved about, and convinced her mum Kathy, Kathy’s partner Peter along with her own husband Jason to join her. It has since developed into a regular family catch up, with 12-year-old Portia taking on the drumming role, as the over 30-years age criteria for masters sport doesn’t extend to the drummer.

Dobak has always maintained an active lifestyle, and didn’t take much convincing to jump on-board the boat with daughter Justine.

“I was looking around for something extra to do… I wasn’t in any team sports and I like being on the water anyway so I thought well, I’ll give it a go. I normally do a fair bit of bush walking and while you might be walking in a group it’s actually a really solo type of activity. So this was the opportunity to be in a team, to catch up with the family on a regular basis.”

“And talk about being fit!” Dobak laughed.

Dobak credits the Deepwater Dragonboat Club for her love of the sport, singling out a great coach in Kathy Cummings who is passionate about the sport and committed to promoting it, supported by a hardworking committee.

“Her dedication feeds member enthusiasm and camaraderie,” she says of coach Cummings.

“It’s good being part of a club, you meet people you wouldn’t normally meet in your day-to-day activities. It’s the sport that brings you together, so you’ve immediately got something in common even if you’re from quite diverse walks of life.”

And the goals for the crew?

“Oh have a good time basically.  You know it would be nice if we came a place in something but I don’t see that as being the whole point behind it. I think just to participate, and I’ve never been to Adelaide before so I think that will be good as well, all going together.”

Dobak’s partner Peter Comino and son in law Jason Roberts will also participate in the dragon boat events in Adelaide, although likely in a different boat.

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