Dragon Boat

NBP Dragon Boat Paddlers win at 2023 International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission in New Zealand

Nathan Benderson Park (NBP) Paddling program’s NBP Survivors in Sync (SIS), consisting of breast cancer survivors, won several medals in the 2023 International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission (IBCPC) Participatory Dragon Boat Festival at Lake Karapiro, Cambridge, New Zealand on April 15 and 16, 2023.  Overall, they placed second, only behind the Lake Karapiro home team.  SIS placed third in the 500-meter race and first in the 200-meter race, beating the two local teams that beat them in the 500-meter race.  SIS holds the top spot for teams in the Northern Hemisphere and they were the only U.S. team to make the top ten. Overall, 85 teams from around the world participated in the festival.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our SIS team,” said Bruce Patneaude, COO of Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy. “Once again, they proved their fortitude at this prestigious race in New Zealand. Their passion and dedication are unmatched and we are excited to celebrate them upon their return home.” 

Twenty-four team members traveled and participated in racing. They were accompanied by supporters, friends, family and NBP paddlers who also competed in supporter races held each day.

Dragon Boat

The NBP team placed fourth at the most recent IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival in 2018 in Italy. They are also the International Dragon Boat Federation’s reigning world-champions in the 500-meter and 200-meter sprints. The World Championships were held at Nathan Benderson Park in 2022.

The IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival is held every four years. The festival is an international non-competitive participatory event for breast cancer paddler teams who engage in Dragon Boat activities as post breast cancer diagnosis rehabilitation. Teams from across the world and from Florida participated.

“We are thrilled for Survivors in Sync and their amazing accomplishments in New Zealand. This team was formed prior to the 2014 IBCPC Festival which was held at Nathan Benderson Park, and the team has surpassed all expectations with numerous achievements year after year. They are a true inspiration, and we are honored to have them as a part of the Sarasota County parks and Nathan Benderson Park family,” said Nicole Rissler, Director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources for Sarasota County.

The NBP Paddling program trains at Nathan Benderson Park, a Sarasota County park, and  is composed of a diverse group of men and women. The following groups make up the NBP Paddling program: 

  • NBP Survivors in Sync: NBP’s Breast Cancer Survivor Team. The “SISters” are a team of breast-cancer survivors that competes in events worldwide.
  • NBP Veterans: Veterans train and compete with others who share their experiences.
  • NBP Dragons: The NBP Dragons compete year-round in women’s, men’s and mixed teams in Premier, Senior A (40+), Senior B (50+) and Senior C (60+) divisions.
  • NBP Warriors: The warriors are a team of men and women who have survived cancers of all-types. They compete year-round.

Photos from Nathan Benderson Park

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