The North Bay Sports Hall of Fame is one of several local community groups to have regular coverage in the A Bit of the Bay Magazine. Suggestions for the first edition Sept. 1 are welcome, email: [email protected]
In the meantime, here's some information on the Warriors of Hope Breast Cancer Survivors Dragon Boat Racing Team as North Bay's Team of the Year 2018 that was honoured by the hall this spring.
The local Warriors of Hope team was created in October 1999 and the group, made up of cancer survivors, has competed in 55 events over the years and continues to compete and play a part in the community.
The idea that dragonboat racing could aid in the recovery of breast cancer survivors sprang from the University of British Columbia in 1995 and quickly spread around the world which resulted in the formation of the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission which holds International competitions every four years. The local chapter was formed in late 1999 and with the help of Scotiabank purchased a dragonboat dubbed “Jane” and in 2000 began competing in Survivor events. Aided by trainers like Olympians Dan Howe and Jen DeGrauu the Warriors of Hope travelled to festivals across Ontario, to Montreal, Dartmouth and Florida and some members have even travelled around the world with the National team, Canadians Abreast.
Through the years the local team has taken part in at least 55 competitive events - bringing home 36 medals including 23 gold, along with seven silver and six bronze. In 2005, the team was 4th in the National qualifying race in Welland; in 2008 North Bay finished 5th in the All Canadian BCS Division in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; in 2010 the locals placed 12th out of 76 international teams in the IBCPC competition in Peterborough; four years later, in 2014 North Bay’s Warriors of Hope placed 13th out of 113 international teams the IBCPC event in Sarasota, Florida.
The Warriors also work to raise public awareness of breast cancer and focus on survival, particularly through active fitness programs like dragonboat racing. The group is active in the community with fundraisers for themselves and other groups and work year round to achieve their goals. Since 1999 almost 80 women and one man have taken part in the Warriors of Hope program since its 1999 inception.
(North Bay Sports Hall of Fame media release)