Dragon boats bring $6 million bonus

Liz Stolwyk

The announcement of up to 5000 breast cancer paddlers coming to Cambridge in 2022 for the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission (IBCPC) already has Cambridge’s sporting and tourism industry experts planning for the big event.

The regatta will take place at Mighty River Domain, Lake Karapiro, with other events and side trips centred around Hamilton, Cambridge and the wider Waikato region.

“Receiving the news that we would be hosting our first International Dragon Boat event was incredible news for us. This event is something very, very special,”  said Liz Stolwyk, CEO of Mighty River Domain at Lake Karapiro.

“Breast cancer affects us all in some way and to welcome up to 5000 survivors will be incredible. Over my 15 years at the domain, this means a huge amount to me, my team can deliver hundreds of events but to deliver this event will be one of a kind.”

Stolwyk said the organisation had been measuring the impact of events held in the Waipā over the past few years to get a sense of their economic impact, and had found that the larger events could bring in an extra $6 million dollars into the area over a week.

“This event will have a giant impact also on our Waipa towns, especially the accommodation and hospitality sectors,” she said. “With 25 countries and up to 5000 competitors – Cambridge will certainly be painted ‘pink’ for this event.  I’m looking forward to working with the community to get in behind this event and make our international visitors feel very welcome.”

IBCPC worldwide President Meri Gibson, from Christchurch, described the bid to bring the event to New Zealand as a “massive undertaking”.

“Being up against countries from across the globe on various continents made this even more special to win the bid,” she said.

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