About Us


Pool of Life is a registered charity (registration No. 1111599) and was the first established dragon boat team for breast cancer survivors in the UK.

The team was set up in 2004, under the guidance and support of Liverpool-based Amathus Dragon Boat Club, to help raise breast cancer awareness and demonstrate that women and men living with breast cancer can lead full and active lives.

Pool of Life and a colourful Liverpool sign

What We Do

We support, we train, we race, we keep strong and we share happy experiences. We have raced at UK venues and also abroad. If you have had breast cancer and would like a new challenge we would love to hear from you and welcome you into the team (family and friends also welcome).

Dragon boat racing is a colourful, energetic sport, and a wonderful way to say ‘yes I can’ after breast cancer. All over the world people who are survivors in every sense of the word are demonstrating their ‘can do’ attitude as they take part in Dragon Boat Racing.

There are more than 200 breast cancer survivors’ dragon boat teams worldwide. Teams gather at festivals to race each other, raising awareness of the disease and raising money for breast cancer support.

While participating in the sport of dragon boat racing we endeavour to:

  • Encourage those who have been diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer to lead full and active lives
  • Demonstrate the benefits of an active lifestyle through the sport of dragon boating
  • Provide support and fellowship to team members
  • Offer support to the family and friends of our members
  • Have fun

Still got questions?  Please read our ‘Frequently Asked Questions.

Health Benefits of Dragon Boating

In Canada in 1996, Dr McKenzie formed the first breast cancer survivors’ dragon boat team (Abreast in a Boat) to test the effect of strenuous upper body exercise on lymphoedema and general well-being. The positive results of his research sparked the start of the breast cancer survivors’ dragon boat racing movement!

See a summary of his research (external PDF document).

NHS North Lancashire and Sheffield Hallam University undertook similar research in 2008. The results showed improved lymphoedema symptoms for those with the condition, plus wider benefits for all paddlers in the team, who felt physically stronger and had more energy. The sport also provided them with a fun way of getting their lives back on track after their cancer experience.

See a summary of the research (external PDF document).

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