The journey started in January 2010 at an Arnprior and District Breast Cancer Support Group (ADBCSG) meeting, where new members met and shared a dream to paddle in a local dragon boat festival. This meeting was the beginning of an eventful 2010. With the support of the ADBCSG and a successful application for an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, a boat, trailer, life jackets, and paddles were purchased. The team also received funding for some training.
The Prior Chest Nuts were formed, dedicated to supporting the development of recreational dragon boat paddling as a contribution to a healthy lifestyle for men and women diagnosed with breast cancer.
The White Lake Marina generously donated its facility for our boat to be able to launch in and out of White Lake. The team took to the water in June 2010 and practiced twice a week until October.
Our first dragon boat festival was in Carleton Place in September 2010. We also attended the White Pine festival in Arnprior and participated in the Arnprior Christmas parade in December. In January 2011, we began the year with pool training at the Nick Smith Centre, as well as an evening exercise class held in one of our members basement.
Every May since we have been ready to hit the water at White Lake. We have participated in the dragon boat festivals in Kingston, Arnprior, Ottawa and Carleton Place.
In October 2014 we participated in our first international event at the 4th International Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Festival in Sarasota, Florida. Wow, it was amazing to see and meet ladies from all over the world who have survived breast cancer and were participating in this festival.
In addition to our practices twice a week on White Lake from May to September, we continue to participate in various festivals and community events throughout the Ottawa Valley. On Sunday mornings during the month of July, we also extend an open invitation to family, friends and members of the community to come out and paddle with us.
Hope you can join us sometime!