AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of Cancer survivors paddled their way across the Connecticut River on Saturday, enjoying a beneficial therapy called Dragon Boat Racing.

The Dragonboat scrimmage tested the endurance of several teams, each boat holding twenty men and women who have battled back from cancer in the eight years since this competition began at the Pioneer Valley riverfront club at the base of the North End Bridge. Breast Cancer survivor Kathey Wheeler of Agawam and her teammates found the scrimmage invigorating and healthful.

“It makes you feel important, it makes you strong, gives you that sense of camaraderie and teamwork and just to get out there with other survivors and have a lot of fun,” Wheeler said.

Saturday’s high-spirited racing was just the start of their Dragon boat season. Thirty teams of cancer survivors from Greater Springfield and Connecticut are now prepping for the highlight of their competition. The Dragon boat Festival in Springfield on October 2.