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Nathan Benderson Park Paddling's Survivors in Sync team headed to New Zealand

NBP Dragon Boat Paddlers to travel to New Zealand to compete in the 2023 International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission (IBCPC) Participatory Dragon Boat Festival


SARASOTA, FL: Nathan Benderson Park (NBP) Paddling program’s NBP Survivors in Sync, consisting of breast cancer survivors, will participate in the 2023 International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission (IBCPC) Participatory Dragon Boat Festival in Lake Karapiro, Cambridge, New Zealand from April 10-16, 2023.

“With great pride, we look forward to the SISters competing in such a prestigious event,” said Bruce Patneaude, COO of Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy. “We wish them the best and safe travels as they compete.”

“The NBP Survivors in Sync Team was launched before the 2014 IBCPC held here in Sarasota, as our home team, and we couldn’t be prouder of the “SISters” and the legacy they are leaving,” said Director of Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Nicole Rissler. “Lead by Coach Long, NBP Survivors in Sync has certainly surpassed all of Sarasota County’s dreams and their dedication continues to be an inspiration.”

NBP Paddling Coach Angela Long will not only coach in the event but will also race. Twenty-four team members will travel and participate in the parade of teams on Friday, April 14. Two boats will compete in the 500-meter races and in the 200 meter races. They will be accompanied by supporters, friends, family and NBP paddlers who will also compete in supporter races held each day.

The IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival is held every four years. The festival is an international non-competitive participatory event for breast cancer paddler teams who engage in Dragon Boat activities as post breast cancer diagnosis rehabilitation.

The NBP team placed fourth at the most recent IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival in 2018 in Italy. They are also the International Dragon Boat Federation’s reigning world-champions in the 500-meter and 200-meter sprints. The World Championships were held at Nathan Benderson Park in 2022.

The NBP Paddling program trains at Nathan Benderson Park, a Sarasota County park, and is composed of a diverse group of men and women. The following groups make up the NBP Paddling program:

  • NBP Survivors in Sync: NBP’s Breast Cancer Survivor Team. The "SISters" are a team of breast-cancer survivors that competes in events worldwide.
  • NBP Veterans: Veterans train and compete with others who share their experiences.
  • NBP Dragons: The NBP Dragons compete internationally year-round.
  • NBP Warriors: The warriors are a team of men and women who have survived cancers of all-types. They compete year-round.


About the Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy
The Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy is a not-for-profit 501c3 business created to manage Nathan Benderson Park, a community/public asset and world-class, multi-use sports venue. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for our community and be an economic generator for our region. The Conservancy’s primary purpose is to develop and promote the park as a world-class event center, team training site and Sarasota County park, while providing outreach programs through recreation, safety training, education and volunteering as a service to our community. See more at

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