Two Dozen Health First Associates Bitten By Dragonboat Bug On the Banana River Inlet in Indian Harbour Beach
By Space Coast Daily // February 26, 2023
Health First and Health First Cancer Institute are strong community supporter of the Club
BREVARD COUNTY • INDIAN HARBOUR BEACH, FLORIDA – Under a near cloudless, postcard-perfect Saturday on the Space Coast in Brevard County, approximately two dozen Health First associates listened intently to the instructions – along with a serious warning … “You might get bitten out there!”
Not by mosquitoes or any scaly water creature lurking beneath the Banana River inlet in Indian Harbour Beach – but by the Dragonboat Bug!
In existence since 2014, the Heart and Soul Dragonboat Club is a team of athletes from every age and walk of life – including breast cancer survivors and supporters – who want to share in the mission of increased health and heartfelt friendships through dragon boating.
Health First and the Health First Cancer Institute is a strong community supporter of the Club, and Saturday was all about highlighting the sport.
“The club’s mission is to encourage the development and support for the sport of dragon boat racing in Brevard County. Health First has been such a strong supporter of the Heart and Soul Dragonboat Club for years, and we really wanted to provide this opportunity today to allow our friends and supporters to learn more about the sport … and maybe even join our club,” said Club President Carol Berry.
“We have been very grateful to Health First for the support. We started out as a breast cancer survivor team and most of our members, I believe, were working with Health First and their program when they needed that kind of medical help. And we’re very, very grateful for the support that was offered. And so we wanted to be able to give back to health first some understanding of what it meant to us to have that.”
According to Berry, there are different club levels for every fitness level. Anyone 18 years or older is welcome to become a member, and on this particular day, there was at least one participant in her 80s suiting up and picking up an oar for the excursion! No prior experience is required to join and people of all levels of fitness are encouraged to participate.
“We have been partners with the Heart and Soul Dragonboat Club since 2014 and this partnership has really allowed us to support cancer patients – and their friends and families – in our community,” said Shona Price, Health First’s Director of Community Engagement.
Price was on hand to provide support to the event – but would eventually be encouraged to don a lifejacket and pick up an oar to join one of the two teams for her first Dragonboat experience.
“I’m really looking forward to it. What better opportunity to spend a day in our beautiful community, making new friends, all in support of an amazing organization that shares our commitment to wellness and a healthy lifestyle.”