Lagan Dragons is Northern Ireland’s first ever Dragon Boat team made up of paddlers who have been directly or indirectly affected by a breast cancer diagnosis.
The Belfast-based club was formed back in March 2015 by Joanne Rock after she persuaded a few friends and some members of the Dublin Plurabelles Dragons to take part in a ‘try-out paddle’ the previous September.
Joanne was inspired to take to the water after reading research suggesting that the physical activity of Dragon Boating was beneficial to those recovering after a breast cancer diagnosis.
The club now has three of its own boats and currently has over fifty members.
Our team is open and inclusive to all, however, we are primarily made up of people who have been affected directly by breast cancer, but we welcome new members of all ages, backgrounds and abilities!
Our club was founded by Joanne Rock, a fully qualified Irish Dragon Boat Association (IDBA) Helm and Coach. Joanne successfully led the team (who finished 47th out of 128 teams from around the world) to the 2018 International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission (IBCPC) Participatory Dragon Boat Festival in Florence, Italy. She has also represented Team Ireland at the 2014 IBCPC Festival in Sarasota, USA.
Our mission is to provide opportunities for those affected directly or indirectly by breast cancer to participate in Dragon Boat paddling, which in turn helps support and develop their emotional wellbeing while achieving overall improved general health and fitness.
To facilitate this, we aim to grow our club membership year on year, make new friends and continue to improve overall fitness while having fun at the same time!
- to encourage those who have been diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer to lead full, happy and active lives
- to raise awareness about breast cancer and the BRCA gene
- to provide support and friendship to team members
- to demonstrate the benefits of an active lifestyle through the sport of dragon boat racing
- to offer support to the family and friends of members who have been affected indirectly by breast cancer
- to promote an interest in dragon boat racing and maintain its traditions
- to encourage a high standard of participation in the sport, through the formation of new crews
- to organise social and competitive charity events to increase club awareness and raise club funds
- to celebrate our lives and have FUN!
- to encourage those who have been diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer to join Lagan Dragons so that they can benefit from regular exercise in a fun team environment
- to raise awareness of breast cancer in women and men of all ages
- to support Lagan Dragon members, family and friends through challenging times
- to motivate, support and encourage everyone about the benefits of an active lifestyle through the sport of dragon boat racing
- to increase our public profile with local media
- to raise funds for Lagan Dragons by holding charity events
- to laugh and celebrate our lives every day!
What We Do
We paddle from our site on the River Lagan at Stranmillis, Belfast.
Depending on weather conditions we aim to get out on the water several times a week.
Session times change depending on crew availability but are published regularly on our Facebook or you can contact us directly.
Our training caters for all levels of fitness and competence – we strive to improve everyone’s overall fitness and, while there is a competitive element to our training, everyone is encouraged to join in and train to their own level and abilities.