We are delighted to advise that together with Europa Donna Ireland Ltd. (a breast cancer advocacy group), the Irish Dragon Boat Association has been awarded one of the €10,000 grants from the 2013 Coca Cola Thank You Fund.

The Coca Cola Thank You Fund, in its 3rd year, invited not-for-profit, charitable and voluntary organisations from across Ireland to submit a project for consideration for a slice of their €125,000 fund.  With 10 winners of €10,000 and one winner of €25,000 the Coca Cola Thank You Fund is designed to support projects and initiatives which have a positive impact on the quality of life of communities in the island of Ireland with a specific focus on innovative solutions to help communities be more active and healthy.

Europa Donna Ireland with the Irish Dragon Boat Association will promote physical activity and healthy nutrition for breast cancer survivors as well as other types of cancer survivors, teenagers and the wider community.  The project hopes to improve survival rates of those diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as managing and preventing some side effects of breast cancer treatment, such as lymphoedema, a chronic swelling of the arm. Research in Canada has shown that those treated for breast cancer could avoid or better manage lymphoedema by following a special exercise and dragon boat training programme.  This programme will aid people in enjoying an active life and benefit from the psychological support that a breast cancer survivor dragon boat team provides.
Europa Donna Ireland intends to use the dragon boat project to engage with groups throughout Ireland to help eliminate some of the myths and fears surrounding the perception of breast cancer and to validate the message that physical activity is beneficial at all stages of our life.
The programme will be delivered in a simple, practical way across Ireland to:
1) Promote the benefits of dragon boating for breast cancer survivors, other cancer groups and generally people of all ages.
2) Encourage people to lead a healthy lifestyle and to create a renewed and on going interest in sport.
3) Demonstrate that sport can be fun and that dragon boating is particularly geared to family inclusion.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Coca Cola as without their support we would not be in a position to roll out this road show to areas of Ireland where currently dragon boating does not exist.