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Lagan Dragons celebrate two new 40ft dragon boats

Thank you Lagan Dragons for inviting Walk the Walk to such a special event, celebrating the grant and your new Dragon Boats!

Lagan Dragons, Northern Ireland’s only Dragon Boat team for people affected by breast cancer, has celebrated the arrival of two new 40ft dragon boats thanks to a grant from Walk the Walk. Both boats feature Walk the Walk’s logo in recognition of our contribution!

On Saturday our very own Nina and Sally were invited to a special “Awakening the Dragon” ceremony at Belfast Boat Club to celebrate the new grant with the Lagan Dragons team. Those involved in the event carried out an ancient Chinese ritual to bring the boats to life and wish good fortune to the team.

Lagan Dragons was founded in 2015 by Joanne Rock, who has had breast cancer herself and now has more than 60 members, 80% of whom have had the disease. The club aims to help those affected by providing support, improving fitness, and raising awareness, so a perfect fit for Walk the Walk!

Dragon Boat paddling for people affected by breast cancer began more than 20 years ago thanks to a discovery from Dr. Don McKenzie at the University of British Columbia. He challenged medical thinking that women treated for breast cancer should avoid rigorous upper body exercise for fear of developing lymphoedema. Dr. McKenzie’s study introduced and trained people affected by breast cancer to Dragon Boat paddling for three months. At the end of the season on the water, none of the volunteers had lymphoedema and their emotional wellbeing had improved as well.

Nina said: “Walk the Walk’s purpose is to make a difference for women and men who have been touched by breast cancer, whether through research or supporting people living with cancer. It is important to us that the money we raise at our MoonWalks and other events goes far and wide, and we are thrilled to be able to make this grant in Northern Ireland.

“What is lovely about today is that you can really see the impact that it is making, and that’s wonderful. The link between these ladies is breast cancer, but they have turned it into something really positive.”

Joanne Rock, captain of Lagan Dragons said: “It is so good to exercise beyond a breast cancer diagnosis. We know that exercise is good and exercising with a group is even better. It is a privilege to be able to exercise in nature and exercising in water is nothing short of magical. It calms our fears, settles our minds and helps prepare us to face whatever lies ahead. We can’t thank Walk the Walk and their supporters enough for their very kind donation to our club, it means so much to so many people.”

So thank you Lagan Dragons for inviting Walk the Walk to such a special event, celebrating the grant and your new Dragon Boats!

If you want to learn more about the Lagan Dragons, take a look at their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Help us to continue to make a difference by joining us as a Walker or Volunteer in 2019... let's all unite against breast cancer!

Raise money, Raise awareness, Get fit and Have fun!

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