Team History

Our Team History

Busting Out Ottawa Dragon Boat Team began in 1998 with a group of Breast Cancer survivors who wanted to experience the joy and the benefits of Dragon Boating.  Since then it has served as an outlet for providing and promoting health and wellness through physical activity for breast cancer survivors, demonstrating to ourselves and to the community that there is quality of life beyond our diagnosis. It is through the sport of Dragon Boat that our members continue to rebuild their lives after completing their course of treatment. By being part of an active, athletic group that strives towards a common goal we find the self confidence to heal our bodies, heal our minds, and heal our souls.  As a team we participate in dragon boat competitions locally, nationally, and internationally.

Breast Cancer and Dragon Boating

In 1996, Dr. Don McKenzie and Dr. Susan Harris in Vancouver, Canada challenged a commonly-held medical belief that strenuous upper body exercise in breast cancer patients could lead to lymphedema. They gathered a team of survivors for a six-month training program (with the goal of racing at a festival), and the very first Breast Cancer Dragon Boat team in the world, Abreast in a Boat, was born. Their goal was to prove that the repetitive motion of dragon boat paddling would dispel this theory and sure enough, these pioneering women completed their six-month program without a single case of lymphedema. In the process, they also learned that the social connections formed among teammates appeared beneficial to both the paddlers’ physical and mental health.

Since that time, Breast Cancer Dragon Boat teams have been started all over the world.  The teams compete locally, nationally and internationally.

Where have we been for Festivals


Ottawa          Arnprior           Cornwall


Windsor         Toronto          St Catherines          Wellington

Stratford          Hamilton


Dartmouth Nova Scotia          Sydney Nova Scotia

International Dragon Boat Festivals

2007 Australia          2010 Peterborough Canada

2014 Sarasota Florida USA          2018 Italy

2023 New Zealand      2024 Mexico

And coming in 2026 Aix Les Bains France

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