Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boating began in 1996 when Dr. Don McKenzie, a Professor in the Department of Sports Medicine, exercise physiologist, and avid dragon boater, developed a program to determine the impact of exercise on breast cancer survivors.
He trained twenty-four breast cancer volunteers in a gym for three months, Then he introduced them to dragon boats and taught them paddling techniques. At the end of the three-month season on the water none of the volunteers had lymphedema. They were also more fit and happier as a result of the exercise and camaraderie with their new team of friends.
The IBCPC holds an international BCS Festival with over 2000 breast cancer survivors from around the world in attendance. The most recent event was held in Sarasota, Florida U.S.A in 2014. Each festival provides the opportunity for breast cancer survivors to network, attend workshops, paddle and celebrate life!
The Pink Dragon Ladies of Tampa Bay are our Big SISters of dragon boating. Their mentorship, coaching and support has been invaluable in the development of our team, Survivors In Sync. Here is a short documentary video explaining what the Pink Dragon Ladies collectively stand for and what dragon boating for survivors is all about.