The River Sisters Dragon Boat Team is committed to foster strength, wellness, and camaraderie for women who have survived all types of cancer. In addition, we participate in community service and contribute to the well-being and support of those undergoing cancer treatment in the Delaware Valley. Our participation as a survivor team in dragon boat competitions and festivals reinforces our purpose to work together to provide encouragement and hope to others who have experienced the devastating diagnosis of cancer.
History Of Dragon Boating
Dragon Boat Racing has ancient Chinese origins and its history has been traced back more than 2000 years. The first participants were superstitious Chinese villagers who celebrated the 5th day of the 5th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Racing was held to avert misfortune and encourage the rains needed for prosperity – and the object of their worship was the dragon, the dragon of Asia has traditionally been a symbol of water. It is said to rule the rivers and seas and dominate the clouds and rains.
It started nearly 20 years ago, when Canadian sports medicine specialist Donald C. McKenzie challenged the thinking that breast cancer survivors should refrain from strenuous activity. He inspired breast cancer survivors to come together on dragon boat teams because he believed it would benefit their physical health and social wellbeing. His research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found “an emerging hypothesis that dragon boating is a vehicle for improving women’s wellness and post-treatment quality of life.” More recent studies have proven the benefits of exercise after breast cancer treatment.