ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Dragon Boat Club and the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes are hosting a Paddle for Cancer Awareness event this Sunday, June 23 to call attention to cancer and to encourage fun through exercise. Cancer survivors will be able to participate in a Flower Ceremony of memories, life and hope.

The event will go from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 23 at Cass Park. No equipment or experience is necessary to take part.

The Ithaca Dragon Boat Club is working to establish a team, called the Ithaca Gorges ACE (All Cancer Experts), solely made of cancer survivors. Sunday’s event is a chance to have fun, get outside and try something new. 

Multiple studies show that participating in team sports is valuable for mental health. Repetitive upper body exercises, and dragon boating in particular, have been cited as helpful forms of exercise to breast cancer survivors. Paula Loskamp, a member of the Ithaca Dragon Boat Club and cancer survivor, said dragon boating has helped with physical and mental health, as the team provides friendships, camaraderie and support.

“Cancer takes a toll on the body,” she said. “Dragon boating provides a total body workout which improves both your physical and mental health. I’ve been on the team for two years and feel better than I have in years.”

Those interested in participating in the event can sign up as individuals or in groups of 10. No experience is needed and all equipment will be provided. The event costs $20  per person, with free registration for the first 10 cancer survivors to sign up. 

Learn more about the Ithaca Dragon Boat Club and RSVP to the event on Facebook. For more information contact amykuois@gmail.com.

Featured image courtesy of Ithaca Dragon Boat Club.

Editor’s note: Managing Editor Kelsey O’Connor is a member of the Ithaca Dragon Boat Club.

Becky Mehorter

Becky Mehorter is an intern at the Ithaca Voice. She is a rising senior at Ithaca College with majors in journalism and Spanish.