Sport Makes A Difference

For immediate release

Fifty-four Dragon Boats to Throw Down the Gauntlet
14th Annual Manulife Dragon Boat Festival set for July 9th


Halifax (Thursday, July 7) – Twelve hundred competitors will take to the water on Saturday for a series of fun and fast-paced races at the day-long Manulife Dragon Boat Festival.
 
Among the eclectic mix of competitors are a group called Families with Children from China, defending top fundraisers Boyne Clarke, newcomers Lake Milo Club from Yarmouth, and the seriously competitive Tanner Family. Dana Simonsen speaks (jokingly) for the Tanner Family: “Earlier this week we saw Kate Middleton defeated by her husband, William. In this family, each man brings two horsepower – one for each arm – to front the athleticism and skill of the women! Last year we placed second overall and we’re back to redeem ourselves!”
 
“Every year this event draws cheering crowds of hundreds of supporters and onlookers,” says Doug Mattatall, the volunteer Chair of the festival. “Corporate teams use it as a day of team-building and friends use it as a day of pure fun – and everyone raises money for a good cause.”
 
Jamie Ferguson, CEO of Sport Nova Scotia, says, “We all know that sport promotes healthy, active lifestyles. We are now learning that kids who play sport are less likely to get in trouble with the law, more likely to do well in school, and more likely to give back to their community. Events like these raise money so that more people and youth can participate and reap these benefits - because all proceeds go to the Nova Scotia Amateur Sport Fund which helps grow community sport participation.”
 
Dragon boating is part of a larger Chinese cultural tradition that dates back 2,400 years.  A dragon boat has a crew of around 22, typically made up of paddlers, a steersman, and a drummer who keeps time and provides moral support. Today the sport is practised in many cities around the world.

Races begin at 8:30am and run every ten minutes. The Festival is located on Prince Albert Road at the foot of Lake Banook in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. On the day of the event, Prince Albert Road will be closed from Hawthorne to Sinclair Streets.  Parking is available on side streets and there is also a shuttle service from Alderney Landing (the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal) throughout the day.

Along with the races, there will be many fun-filled activities along Prince Albert Road, including face painting, clowns, magicians, Chinese cultural and martial arts demos, and much more!

About Manulife Financial

RManulife Financial is a Canadian-based international financial services company with offices in 22 countries and territories. Offering a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services, Manulife employs more than 800 employees in Nova Scotia. Fitting with the company’s community involvement philosophy in supporting healthy living and active living, Manulife joined forces with Sport Nova Scotia in 2005 as Title Sponsor of the Manulife Dragon Boat Festival. Since that time, Manulife has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to supporting the Nova Scotia Amateur Sport Fund and providing sport participation opportunities in communities across Nova Scotia.

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For more information visit dragonboat.halifax.ns.ca or contact:

Jeff LeDrew
Director, Marketing & Events
Sport Nova Scotia
Phone:  902-425-5454 ext.354
jledrew@sportnovascotia.ca

5516 Spring Garden Rd., 4th Floor, Halifax, NS B3J 1G6