The Plurabelle Paddlers is a dragon boat team based in the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin, Ireland. The team members have one thing in common, they have been diagnosed with breast cancer . We have set up a dragon boat team (think Hawaii Five-0) to:
– get fit
– enjoy the mutual support of team mates
– raise awareness of breast cancer.
We were all new to the sport and are inspired by the 150 or so breast cancer dragon boat teams worldwide. Why dragon boats? >>
We are the first dragon boat team in Ireland. The team was set up by Fiona Tiernan, in order to keep fit after a recurrence of breast cancer. From a membership of 2 and no boat in 2010, we now have 60+ active members, a wonderful coach Julie Doyle and 2 dragon boats.
We train on the water twice a week from March to November, and once a week during the rest of the year (view map – you can click on the map to enlarge it) and have members aged from early 30′s to 70+.
The other thing we all have in common is that we were all new to the sport of dragon boat racing.
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Santa must be worried about his job!
Over 50 paddlers in very fetching Santa hats gathered at the Plurabelle Clubhouse in early December for a fabulous Christmas brunch. The brunch was not only an opportunity to get into the festive spirit but also to gather together boxes of donated groceries for ‘Pass it On’, an organisation that supplies Christmas hampers to those in need in the Ringsend area.
We were delighted that Helen Walsh, founder of ‘Pass it On’, could join us for the brunch (which featured a choice of brunch treats – including a full fry-up. Just what was needed after a tough training session on the water!) Well done to Chris – who organised the collection – and to the fabulous cooks – Ann-Marie, Janet, Rita – and to all the willing helpers in the kitchen. Such team work! View photos here.
Plurabelle Paddlers hit the small screen again at the end of October when we welcomed ‘Along Home Shores’ presenter, Bobby Kerr, to a training session in the first episode of the UTV Ireland programme. Bobby also visited our club house, chatted to some paddlers and found out for himself what makes the Plurabelles such a very special club.
With the imposing cranes of Grand Canal Dock’s redevelopment acting as an eye-catching backdrop, local schools (CBS Westland Row and Ringsend College) did ‘battle’ in dragon boats under the expert eye of Plurabelle Paddler helms.
Our club has always sought to engage with the local community. The schools training session in mid-October was the latest local schools’ initiative undertaken by the Plurabelle Paddlers. View photos here.