The Kootenay Rhythm Dragons

Dragon Boaters celebrate 10 years of fellowship

The Kootenay Rhythm Dragons provide an athletic outlet for breast cancer survivors and their supporters.

Ten years ago, Judy Deon completed her treatment for breast cancer. Shortly after, she joined Nelson’s first dragon boat team, the Kootenay Rhythm Dragons.

“I certainly didn’t think of myself as a jock or anything like that,” said Deon, who had never been on a competitive team or even really played a sport before joining the Dragons.

“The experience of being a part of a team was so incredible, so affirming and so positive in every way. I’m not a competitive person by nature, by I found that when I did go in a race I sure did want to win. I paddled my hardest.”

Dragon boating as a form of rehabilitation for breast cancer survivors is a trend introduced in Vancouver that has since taken off internationally. It started when doctors realized that exercise, rather than having a negative effect on the healing upper body, rather helped to stimulate healing by increasing physical and psychological well-being.

“And it’s a wonderful way to encourage fellowship,” said Deon.

Nelson team members have competed across Canada and the States, as well as in Australia. Their primary goal remains the same: “to raise awareness of breast cancer survivorship.”

“It’s important when people are going through that to know there are other survivors around. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if they can’t paddle, they’re included.”

Deon said the friendships she’s created have sustained her through recovery. “It’s a wonderful group of women. Incredibly supportive, friendly. Fun to be with and full of energy and enthusiasm and just great,” she said.

On July 13 there will be a ceremony, dragon boat rides and a BBQ lunch in Lakeside Park from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.



Just Posted

Nelson honours veterans 100 years after end of WWI

Several hundred people gathered at the cenotaph on Sunday

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Nine-vehicle pileup closes Highway 3 near Castlegar

Two separate incidents on slushy highway; reports of injuries

UPDATE: Police seek witnesses in Castlegar road rampage

Lake Country man faces 13 charges, including robbery, dangerous driving, flight from police, assault with a weapon, theft, and drug charges.

RDCK removes conditions from Kalesnikoff office project

Kalesnikoff says it is still planning to move ahead with new office building project

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Most Read