Taranaki Dragonboat team (breast cancer and supporters) paddling on the Waitara River and participating in regattas in New Zealand.

About Us

Taranaki’s breast cancer survivors formed the team late 2007 after becoming inspired when attending the inaugural Breast Cancer Conference in Rotorua. Worldwide there are more than 100 Breastcancer Survivor Dragonboat teams and the benefits of paddling have long been recognised.

With a ‘can do’ attitude, they decided this sport could be started in Taranaki. They placed an ad in the local newspaper to recruit the first members, got a dragonboat from the NZ Dragonboat association and purchased paddles with the help of many sponsors.

Today the team is a mixture of breast cancer survivors, friends, family and other like minded people keen to be a part of paddling in Taranaki.

We base ourselves at the Waitara river and we paddle from near the river mouth upstream so are dependent on tides and other boaties slowing down near us.

On a calm day, we enjoy the peace and quiet of the river and the superb views of Mount Taranaki.


During the summer season which runs from October to April, we train twice a week at the end of the afternoon. During winter, we organize other activities and fitness sessions.

About Dragonboating:

A dragon boat  is a very long and narrow, canoe style human-powered boat now used in the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing which originated in China over 2000 years ago. A Dragonboat can fit 20 paddlers, a sweep and a drummer.

Dragonboating has been chosen as the breast cancer survivor’s sport of choice for several reasons.

It’s a strenuous, repetitive upper body activity. It is non-weight bearing and therefore it’s associated with a lower risk of injury than weight-dependant activities such as running.

It uses predominantly upper extremity and trunk muscles and the improvement in strength as a carry-over effect on day-to-day activity. There are over 110 Breast Cancer Dragon Boating teams worldwide all reaching out to other women and offering them a message of hope and support.

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