History of Dragon Boat Paddling

Dragon Boat Racing has ancient Chinese origins and its history can be 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. Today Dragon Boat Paddling is an international sport and brings together breast cancer survivors from all over the world.

Dragon Boating is a mass participation sport of today, with an ancient past and a very bright future. It is a 'team sport'; a very social sport and great fun too! Attractive to the corporate market and as a 'community activity' it is also a high performance sport for elite standard athletes. This ability range in a team sport full of tradition, culture and social interaction is highly desirable in today's world. Dragon Boating is a sport and recreational activity that can be pursued by everyone and anyone of all abilities and at every level of competition. That is the greatness of Dragon Boating.

Benefits of Paddling for Breast Cancer Survivors

One of the most common problems that can plague those who have undergone mastectomies is lymphedema, a painful swelling of the arm. Between 5% and 20% of breast cancer survivors develop this condition in the first 3 years after surgery, according to the American College of Surgeons.

Not so long ago, patients with lymphedema were told to lay low. Doctors worried that even something as simple as pushing open a door would overuse the arm on the affected side and worsen the swelling.

Dragon boating was first used for breast cancer recovery in 1996 by Dr. Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia in Canada. He launched Abreast in a Boat, to test his theory that more, not less, upper body exercise could help reduce problems. His studies found that paddlers had less swelling and fewer physical limitations compared with breast cancer survivors who did not exercise.

Since then hundreds of breast cancer survivor dragon boat teams have formed worldwide!

(Source: ABC News Health Report)

What you need to practice

Fast drying, weather appropriate clothing, water shoes or similar footwear to protect your feet. A change of clothes in case you get wet, a snack for when you get off the boat. Water so you can stay hydrated. Regular paddlers will have their own personal floatation devices and paddles. To start with the team will provide you with a paddle and a PFD (Personal Floatation Device) if you don't have your own. A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are also recommended. Cell phones are not. Unless you have a completely water proof pouch you are likely to get your phone wet or drop it in the water.

Our coach and team members are committed to helping you as a new paddler to take to the water like a duck! You will find a warm welcome at Dragon Boat Atlanta!

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