Dragon Boat CharlestonDid you know that the Chinese sport of dragon boat paddling is alive and well right here in Charleston? Founded in 2003, Dragon Boat Charleston (DBC) aids mental and physical wellness for cancer survivors through dragon boating. According to DBC’s website, the group’s goals are . . .
  • To encourage healthy healing and healthy lifestyles through goal oriented exercise, good nutrition, education, and fellowship.
  • To support the beneficial effects of physical activity in survival through research.
  • To provide a positive model for our community demonstrating courage, determination, and team cooperation.
  • To advance the sport of dragon boating.
For many of its participants, dragon boat paddling is a celebration of life. They love becoming one with the river, using the paddles to break the surface, and experiencing the cool evening air or the sun’s empowering warmth. Paddling any time of day is energizing and helps them celebrate life as cancer survivors. DBC also helps them promote their own health through other programs, such as yoga and nutrition education. Research shows that physical activity and an active lifestyle may improve breast cancer survival rates as well as help survivors heal emotionally from their ordeal. Dragon boat paddling is unusual, pleasantly strenuous, and a lot of fun! DBC participates in several races each year, and its members enjoy the camaraderie of other breast cancer survivors and friends year-round. If you walk along the Ashley River, you’re likely to see DBC members doing what they enjoy—paddling hard to prepare for their next race, which is the 6th Annual Charleston Dragon Boat Festival on May 4. Dragon Boat Charleston The Festival will be held on the shores of the Ashley River at Brittlebank Park, off Lockwood Drive. You’ll enjoy dragon boating races along with a cancer survivor celebration that includes plenty of food, costumes, and tents. The first heat begins at 8 a.m. While registration is now closed, there is a wait list you can add yourself to by emailing melabriola@gmail.com. DBC is attempting to raise $100,000 this year, and they are almost halfway there. The funds pay for cancer survivors’ participation in races around the country, year-round paddling several times a week, and the Carolina Celebration Cup. The sponsors of Dragon Boat Charleston include The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, MUSC, Pure Insurance, Roper St. Francis Cancer Center, Piggly Wiggly, and Trident Health. To find out more, please visit http://www.dragonboatcharleston.org or www.charlestondragonboatfestival.com.  

Have you ever paddled on a dragon boat, and what did you think of it?