Cork Dragons

Afternoon Everyone,

I hope that you are enjoying the unexpected snow! Last week our theme was around exercise and cancer and I spoke about a recent initiative that is going on in Cork called the Cork Dragons. After the post I was asked what Cork Dragons is all about so I decided to ask someone who is involved with Cork Dragons to give us all a bit more information. It sounds like an incredibly interesting way to get active. Thanks to Theresa Connolly for writing today about Cork Dragons and her own experience.

Cork Dragons

Personal Biography:

I am a breast cancer survivor, having had breast cancer in 2007. Your job as a Mum doesn’t stop because you are ill and I hope my children have learned that cancer, if diagnosed early and treated appropriately, can be overcome. I returned to my ‘paid’ full time job as soon as I was well enough and it continues to challenge me. My recovery was made easier through the support of family, friends, Arc Cancer Support and fellow breast cancer sufferers. I have met the most amazing women through this experience and for that I will be forever grateful. Breast cancer is not a pleasant disease but we can and do survive and grow having experienced it.


Cork Dragons is a newly formed dragon boat crew based in Cork. Its members are all breast cancer survivors and their family and friends. Towards the end of last summer we had a couple of try-outs on the water with the support and encouragement of Meitheal Meara. Currently we are training indoors within a specific preparation programme to help prepare us for our public launch on the water in late March/early April. Our intention is to eventually compete with similar crews in Ireland and throughout the world. Ambitious perhaps but not impossible.

So what is Dragon Boat racing? Dragon Boat racing is a team paddling sport on water, using painted boats to which are attached decorative dragon heads and tails. A normal crew number is 22, including 20 paddlers, 1 steerer and 1 drummer. Cork Dragons are very lucky to be supported by Meitheal Mara, Arc Cancer Support, Prince Clinic and HSE Health Promotion Unit.

This initiative is a worldwide initiative and there are Dragon Boat crews all over the world crewed entirely by breast cancer survivors, and it’s important to note that non-breast cancer survivors cannot compete. Early research indicates that the movements and techniques involved in ‘paddling’ – as opposed to rowing – are beneficial in the prevention /management of lymphedema post breast cancer. This benefit is in addition to all the other benefits you would expect to enjoy from a team sport – support, fitness, fun, challenging!

Cork Dragons are currently building a team and getting to know each other, however, we need more members – and that could be you! We would love to meet with you and tell you a bit more about Cork Dragons. Even if you are nervous about getting out on the water, you can still join and support the crew, and perhaps in time venture out onto the water!

Contact details – email:

Please contact Cork ARC on 021 4276688 for more information

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