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'Senior Warriors' to compete in international dragon boat race - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

'Senior Warriors' to compete in international dragon boat race

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

None of the women meeting at the Burlington Waterfront Wednesday night was younger than 60. The oldest was 84. But they're not gathered for a book club or to play with their grandkids. The group is called the Senior Warriors. They are a national championship team, heading to the world championships in dragon boat racing.

For most of them, it is also the first time they've ever been on a team.

Ellen Postlewaite, a paddler on the team said, “Because I'm over 60, I never had the opportunity to be a part of competitive sports."

Postlewaite says that when she was in school Title IX didn't exist; that's the rule that required women have equal athletic opportunities as men.

There is an unbreakable link between the women because of the common experience they have shared.

“We are only as strong as the weakest link,” Thea Knight explained.

When the group heads to Italy later this year, they will be the oldest team in the tournament.

“We are working as hard as we can in our bodies to do the best we can and bring home some bling for the USA,” Knight said.

The Senior Warriors practiced for over an hour Wednesday, pushing themselves to faster and faster speeds. True to their team spirit, they even wanted to be interviewed as a team afterwards.

“We gelled as a group because we are determined,” Brenda Howley said. “We are seniors, and we want to show others that they can do things other than sit in a rocking chair, play with our grandchildren."

They waited 60 years to finally find a sports team that embraced them. And what they may lack in youth, they make up for in determination. Cheryl Zanleoni said their story proves someone is never too old to try something new.

So don't say the sun is setting on their careers just yet, there is a lot of life left in these oars.

The Senior Warriors will compete against 26 other teams at the world championships in September. Five of the women also plan to try out for the U.S. National Team.

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