Crewsaders, Dragon Boating

Paddling with Dragons. Crewsaders Dragons Abreast Bunbury. A Dragon Boat Team for breast cancer survivors and supporters.

Jill Harrison, founding member of The Crewsaders in Bunbury, tells us all about the mission of this exciting Dragon Boat Team.

Crewsaders Dragons Abreast Bunbury was formed in 2005 by breast cancer survivors and supporters, with assistance from the Forza Dragon Boat Club. It offers a unique way to help rebuild strength, fitness and confidence following breast cancer.

It might seem a strange mix, but the physically and psychologically exhilarating sport of dragon boating has proven medical benefits through the repetitive movement of the upper body and arms. Clinical trials conducted in Canada in 1996 by Dr Don McKenzie showed a reduction in Lymphedema if the limb was exercised as soon as possible following breast cancer treatment.

The Crewsaders primary aim is not to compete, but to proivde a safe, fun way to exercise and regain fitness and strength at the individual’s own pace in a friendly and supportive environment.

Members also become part of an important support network for survivors who may feel isolated and want contact with others sharing the same experiences. The emphasis is on support, acceptance and companionship, whilst still promoting the mental and physical benefits of paddling.

Crewsaders is a member of Dragons Abreast Australia and along with the Perth Amazons and the Cockburn Diamonds, they are demonstrating that survivors can enjoy a full and active lifestyle.

Women of any age and fitness level can enjoy dragon boating. Newcomers are encouraged to ease into paddling gradually and set themselves realistic goals. Crewsaders welcomes surivors who are three months post treatment, and supporting paddlers.

Training is at 8.30am Saturday mornings at the Bunbury Rowing Club, Cobblestone Street, Bunbury. Life vests are available for those not confident in the water.

For more information please contact: Crewsaders Coordinator Christine Penny on 9725 2402 or coach Roz Webb on 9797 0678, or visit the DAA website: or click on the Crewsaders tab at

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