These last few months have been a whirlwind for the Pink Dragons Dragon Boat Team, affectionately known as The Pinkies, who are a group of breast cancer survivors based in Auckland. They compete in that division at dragon boat competitions throughout the season which runs between October and April. This year The Pinkies took a small team to Ashburton where they competed at Nationals in the small boat division under their own name and then joined with another team to complete their standard boat. A small boat has 12 aboard and a standard boat has 22. While they didn’t place at Nationals, they did come away with a sense of being competitive.

They all thoroughly enjoy the experience of mixing with the other breast cancer survivor teams and while they are all fiercely competitive on the water, they’re very happy to embrace each other when sharing a celebration dinner together.

Over the last couple of years, The Pinkies have been filmed by film producer Lisa Burd and her crew as they went about their dragon boat seasons. Their numbers had dropped to seven and they needed to find at least another 15 or more team members to compete and remain a viable team. The result of the filming was the recently released documentary playing in Rialto and other theatres throughout NZ – “The Pinkies Are Back”. The movie was received with a lot of delight and appreciation of what the team has gone though, both as breast cancer survivors and dragon boaters.

The team has had fantastic feedback about the movie and hopes many of you have seen it.

Team numbers do fluctuate and there is always room for new paddlers to join. The people they really want to reach and inspire are those going through or who have been through breast cancer treatment and are looking for something to help with their fitness and recovery. When treatment has finished many find they need to rebuild their body and strength. If this is you, the Pinkies want you to reach out to your local dragon boating community and find a team. They’d love you to join them if you are in Auckland, but there are also teams around New Zealand if you aren’t.

To make enquiries you can contact them via their website:  or email:

Currently there is also an opportunity to "give it a go" with the Auckland Dragon Boat Association - refer to this link to find out more and register:

30 April 2021

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