Jacksonville’s ‘Team Mammoglams’ places 14th in world Dragon Boat competition

Competitors in international competition are all breast cancer survivors

Team Mammoglams of the Jacksonville Dragon Boat Club practices on the Intracoastal Waterway (Photo provided)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A team of 24 local breast cancer survivors is celebrating after finishing 14th in the International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission Dragon Boat Festival in New Zealand.

Team Mammoglams competed against 30 teams on Lake Karapiro in Cambridge, New Zealand, for the festival, which was delayed by the pandemic.

The last time they competed they placed around the 50th ranking, but this time after training for five years, they improved to 14th.

Team Mammoglams, the only team in Jacksonville, placed fourth among U.S. competitors.

Every member of the teams selected to participate in the competition was a breast cancer survivor.

Jeri Millard, founder of In The Pink, a nonprofit organization created to help cancer survivors, founded the Jacksonville Dragon Boat Club -- and Team Mammoglams -- to offer a support system to breast cancer survivors. The club is located at Beach Marine off Beach Boulevard and practices in the Intracoastal Waterway.

“It really has become the best support group I can imagine,” said Millard. “We know the type of healing that can take place on the water.”

Team Mammoglams of the Jacksonville Dragon Boat Club practices on the Intracoastal Waterway (Photo provided)

Dragon Boat paddling has become a rehabilitation therapy for women and men around the world who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Paddlers sit forward facing in a boat designed like a dragon. The pace is set by a drummer, who is positioned facing the paddlers at the bow of the boat. A steersperson stands in the stern, using an oar, to control the boat’s direction. Boats have either 20 or 10 paddlers.

The team is serious about its competition, but during training breaks, they are each other’s support system.

“We’re sisters. There’s an immediate bond,” Millard said.

They are always looking for more team members. If you are interested, you can learn more here: https://www.mammoglams.com/.

About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.