With spring in the air, members of the BraveHearts dragon boat team has launched their boat as they prepare for another season.
Paddling from the Coril Air dock on the Spit, the team can be seen practising each Tuesday and Thursday evening from now until late September. Nationally recognised as the first mixed cancer survivor dragon boat in Canada, the team welcomes new members whether they are cancer survivors, their families and supporters or others who have been touched by this disease.
This year the team will be participating in festivals around the North Island, starting with the Race the River Regatta in Campbell River on June 29.
This event is co-hosted by the River Spirit Dragon Boat Team and BraveHearts. Other festivals include those in Port Hardy, Comox and Port Alberni together with the Discovery Passage passage event which annually sees a flotilla of boats plying the water between Campbell River and Cape Mudge.
Over the years, BraveHearts have been the recipients of many acts of generosity from Campbell River businesses and residents. In return, members like to pay back and during the past few months have assisted with many different activities including helping the Knights of Columbus with their annual hamper fund; assisting the Royal Canadian Legion branch with its Burns Night Supper and clearing away brush and garbage from around the Coril Air property in appreciation of their ongoing support. Each year the members also assist with the Relay for Life, Cops for Cancer and the Terry Fox Run.
In a special ceremony earlier this year, BraveHearts were pleased to present a cash donation to the West Coast Prostate Awareness Society in memory of Al Hodgkinson, who founded the society back in 1994. Hodgkinson, who passed away in January, was a pioneer in the treatment now widely used for all prostate cancer victims.
Tentatively scheduled for May 4 this year, the annual BraveHearts Open House will be held at Dick Murphy Park where newcomers to the sport will have the opportunity to try out their skills. Dragon boating is open to all ages and abilities.
It is a fun-filled activity bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and is one of the finest examples of the healthy life style being so actively sought today.
If you would like to learn more about dragon boating and BraveHearts, please call Linda Stopa at 778-420-0805.