Sistership Dragon Boat Association provides opportunities, through the sport of dragon boating, for people diagnosed with breast cancer to:
- foster wellness,
- partner with the community, and
- heighten the profile and importance of breast health.
Why We Paddle
We paddle to:
- motivate ourselves and each other through group involvement,
- experience a sense of control in our lives,
- enable ourselves to take pride in our accomplishments, and
- help ourselves to move forward by participating in a sport that encourages a healthy and active lifestyle.
Sistership was started in 1998 by a group of women from Calgary. Each one had experienced breast cancer and they set about forming the first dragon boat racing team in Alberta comprised of persons living with the disease. Their commitment to learn to paddle a dragon boat became a symbol of this group’s quest to rebuild the health and confidence eroded by a cancer diagnosis. Belonging to this team meant uniting in a group effort toward a common goal and served to motivate and empower these members while reducing the loneliness of the cancer experience.
Currently, Sistership consists of three crews comprised of approximately seven-two women from Calgary and the surrounding area. Year-round fitness expectations, plus twice-weekly training on the water from May to September with a dedicated coaching staff, mean that Sistership has enjoyed success in competition throughout Canada.
Working together in the spirit of camaraderie and understanding, these women continue to demonstrate their strength and determination. This is an important message for each of them and their families and supporters, as well as those recently diagnosed with breast cancer.