Breast cancer paddlers win

SHARON HO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

With her pink hair, breast cancer survivor Dianne Mowat stood out at the dragon boat medal podium yesterday.

Mowat and her dragon boat team, Dragons Abreast, were one of many breast cancer survivor teams competing at the 2006 International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships. More than 3,000 paddlers from 12 countries have come to compete at the Western Beaches watercourse.

Dragons Abreast -- the only breast cancer survivor dragon boat team from Toronto -- won all of its races this weekend.

"It felt wonderful," Mowat said of their win. "We've been practicing and working hard."

As for her pink hair, Mowat, 52, dyed it the colour representing breast cancer, after she recovered from the disease three years ago.

"I said: 'Who wants normal-coloured hair after this'?" she added.

The Dragonfly team couldn't stop smiling after they won the Youth Spirit Challenge. This division of the dragon boat race was for mentally challenged and physically disabled youth.

"I like paddling," said Dragonfly member Melissa Shaw. "It's so much fun."

In the meantime, Wakestock is also taking place in the water around Centre Island this weekend. Wakeboarding -- the hybrid that combines bits of snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding and water skiing -- has attracted 80 athletes from around the world.


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