In preparation for the upcoming International Breast Cancer Paddler’s Commission (IBCPC) Participatory Dragon Boat Festival, to be hosted at Nathan Benderson Park this October, a 40 foot, 1,500-pound, PINK DRAGON BOAT has been generously donated to our Sarasota Survivors in Sync by the Benderson family. The boat was delivered to Regatta Island and we took our maiden voyage this past Saturday.
The donation, made just last month to Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) for the specific purpose of buying two dragon boats, will allow our local Sarasota dragon boat team, Survivors In Sync, to participate in the October festival as well as practice locally.
“We are ecstatic about the new boat at Nathan Benderson Park! We have been traveling to Tampa to practice for the last several months and it has been quite a time commitment,” said Angela Long, Founder of Survivors in Sync. “Having our team based in Sarasota-Bradenton will allow us to grow the team and attendance in the way we have hoped for.”
Dragon boat racing was first introduced at Nathan Benderson Park in 2011 when SANCA held a novice event. The sport dates back 2000 years. The IBCPC is an international organization whose mandate is to encourage the establishment of breast cancer dragon boat teams. The IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival is an international event for breast cancer survivors that is held every four years. This October will be the first time the event is happening in the United States and it's happening right here in Sarasota.
“We’re thrilled to be hosting such an important and empowering event,” said Paul Blackketter, Chief Operating Officer for SANCA. “And now, because of the generous donation by the Benderson family, we can see a local team participate in this event and do something that they’ve always dreamed of.”
“I could go on and on about the boat, but to have it pink, well we just love it,” said Long. “We are grateful to the Benderson family and SANCA for allowing us to train at home.”