Breast Cancer Survivors paddle the Lagan for their first ever Dragon Boat Regatta
Gwyneth Hinds, Joanne Rocks and Karen Case from the Lagan Dragons, Northern Ireland’s only breast cancer survivors dragon boat team, are gearing up to host their first ever regatta on the River Lagan on June 3rd. The event will see 420 rival dragon boat paddlers competing, and host a number of family friendly activities including a BBQ, craft tables, face painting and a raffle. Founded by breast cancer survivor Joanne Rock in 2015, the Lagan Dragons aims to help those affected by breast cancer by providing support, improving fitness and raising awareness. The team has grown to over 40 members who attend weekly training sessions and has been backed by the Northern Ireland medical profession. The Lagan Dragons Regatta will take place from 10am – 3pm on June 3 at the Waterfront Hall Belfast and is supported by Bryson LaganSports. To find out more about the Lagan Dragon Regatta, or receive further information on joining the Lagan Dragons, visit lagandragons.com or @Lagandragons on Facebook or Twitter.

GET READY TO HEAR THE DRAGONS ROAR ON THE LAGAN

The Lagan Dragons, Northern Ireland’s only breast cancer survivors dragon boat team, is gearing up to host their first ever regatta. 

The River Lagan is set to come alive with the sound of drums and the splashing of paddles on June 3 as over 420 rival dragon boat paddlers compete in an exhilarating boat race, hosted by the Dragons and supported by Bryson LaganSports.  On the day, guests can also enjoy music and entertainment, a BBQ, craft tables, face painting and a raffle offering some very unique prizes.

The Lagan Dragons was founded by breast cancer survivor Joanne Rock and the group first set sail in 2015.  The group aims to help those affected by breast cancer by providing support, improving fitness and raising awareness.  The team has grown to over 40 members who attend weekly training sessions and has been backed by the Northern Ireland medical profession with most new members being referred by surgeons or nurses in local hospitals.

Joanne Rock, founder of Lagan Dragons, said;   

“I set up the club just over two years ago as a way of helping to support those who had gone through breast cancer.  We now have over 40 members who paddle together on the Lagan each week and provide an excellent support network for each other.

“This June we are hosting our very first regatta to raise funds for the club.  It is set to be a fantastic day for all the family and we are encouraging people to get involved by registering to take part in the race or by coming along to watch the teams compete in a friendly rivalry on the Lagan.  All racing equipment will be provided and there’s prizes for the fastest teams and for the best fancy dress.

“The Lagan Dragons Club is opened to anyone affected by breast cancer, whether you are a survivor or a family member, and we are keen to keep growing the club.”

Dr Gwyneth Hinds, Associate Specialist in the Breast Unit at Belfast City Hospital and a Lagan Dragons team member, says the club will help survivors feel emotionally and physically stronger.  

“I’d encourage survivors of breast cancer to take part in the sport to enhance their physical health.  Medical research shows that those who participate in dragon boat paddling following breast cancer treatment have more energy and feel physically stronger due to the strenuous upper body activity.

“The sport also gives survivors the opportunity to gain emotional support and enhance their social wellbeing by providing a safe social outlet in a unique environment.”

The Lagan Dragons Regatta will take place from 10am – 3pm on June 3 at the Waterfront Hall Belfast.  All races will be over 200 metres and the teams must be made up of between 12 – 17 paddlers and one drummer.

To find out more about the Lagan Dragon Regatta, or receive further information on joining the Lagan Dragons, visit lagandragons.com or @Lagandragons on Facebook or Twitter.

The Lagan Dragons is registered as a voluntary sports club with charity status, consisting of people of all ages who have been affected by breast cancer.