The Knot A Breast dragon boat team held its first meeting at the Breast Cancer Support Services office in Burlington, Ontario in 1998.
Starting with a small group of breast cancer survivors, Kathy Levy, (also a survivor) formed the Knot A Breast dragon boat team in the fall of 1997. Age, athletic ability and paddling experience did not matter. The team was comprised solely of women ranging in age from 30 to 65. The only criterion to membership on this unique team was that a person had a diagnosis of breast cancer.
With the help of these women this floating support group began on water training in Hamilton at Bayfront Park, May 1998. The team has grown and did include two male survivors for a number of years. Knot A Breast was incorporated in 2001 and are proud owners of two dragon boats docked at Macassa Bay Yacht Club.
As the sport of dragon boat racing grew, Knot A Breast became a top competitor in the Breast Cancer Division. Traveling to local, national and international venues, the team works to promote athleticism and sportsmanship at its best. In 2010, the team traveled to Peterborough, ON to compete in the International Breast Cancer Participatory Festival, where they placed first overall. With much hard work and determination, they successfully defended the title in Sarasota, FL in October 2014.
The team continued to place a high emphasis on training and technique, selecting competitions that would place them against the top women’s and Breast Cancer crews in the area. They have stood on the podium multiple times at the Canadian National Dragon Boat Championships.
2018 was their biggest challenge to date, the opportunity to once again compete and defend the title at the IBCPC Festival. Making the long journey to Florence, Italy, the team not only had the privilege of representing Hamilton and the surrounding area, but won a hard fought final to repeat as festival champions.
This year, the bar has been raised a bit higher. The crew continues to train and develop technically, and are looking forward to competing at the 2019 Canadian National Dragon Boat Championships this July in Regina. Top finishers at this competition earn a berth to compete at the 2020 Club Crew World Championships in Aux des Bains France.