All Cancer Paddlers (ACP)

ACP clubs in the US first began developing in 2000 to meet the needs of cancer survivors who saw the incredible benefits from participating in dragon boat to the Breast Cancer community and wanted to provide an inclusive opportunity to all cancer survivors to reap the same wellness rewards. ACP is an inclusive division welcoming all adult ages, all genders, for those who have been diagnosed with any cancer and who may or may not have significant disability related to their cancers. The USDBF is committed to supporting ACP divisions at all levels - local, national, and international.  In 2021, the USDBF created a special committee for the specific purpose of promoting and supporting the ACP division. 

All Cancer Ribbon

ACP embraces the lavender ribbon, which is a general cancer awareness ribbon, to celebrate ACP paddlers living with all types of cancer.

(Logo design by Lenny Cabanero-Harvey)


The ACP division is open to teams consisting of athletes of all genders and ages who are survivors of any type of cancer.


To provide opportunities for survivors of all cancer types to benefit from the physical and healing attributes of dragon boat. We are committed to being an all-inclusive division.


To expand the ACP division throughout the United States by providing a network of ACP teams.


ACP Competition Heat at Boston Dragon Boat Festival

ACP Race at Boston Dragon Boat Festival
There are few festivals nationally that automatically include an ACP division, but almost all will make room for the division if at least three ACP teams register.  Encourage your fellow ACP teams to join you in racing at local festivals to help grow the ACP division.

The Flower Ceremony

All ACP races are celebrated with a flower ceremony that honors those who have lost their lives waiting for a cure and commits those still living with cancer to live as fully as possible. Lavender flowers, like the lavender ribbon, are used to promote awareness of all types of cancer.  

2018 Flower Ceremony

At the 2019 ERDBA Regional Championships, the BCP and ACP divisions shared the flower ceremony,  each tossing a pink (BCP) or lavender (ACP) flower in honor of loved ones lost to cancer.

ACP Paddle Salute

The sport of dragon boat is known for nurturing a boat family, not just a team. All Cancer Paddlers see their competitors as one family having shared the experience of cancer.  We honor each other by doing a paddle salute for all ACP competitors to celebrate leaving it all out on the water after each race.

ACP Paddle Salute Honoring our warriors
National Championship
2019 Club Crew National Championships (CCNC) in Colorado Springs

In 2019, many ACP teams won berths to the 2020 Club Crew World Championships (CCWC) through their regional championships (PDBA-USA, ADBA, ERDBA, SRDBA) as well as through Club Crew National Championships (CCNC). All ACP berths nationally are now awarded only at the CCNC, and the next CCWC will be in Sarasota, Florida in July 2022.

The ACP division is an open class.  The steerer, drummer, and all paddlers must have been diagnosed with cancer, but they can be any age or gender category.

Looking for other ACP Teams?

Click here for a map of known ACP teams. Tap the icons on the map for more information  about the team.

Looking for upcoming Festivals with ACP Divisions?
Visit USDBF Events and search using the ACP Category Button.

Looking to start an ACP Team?
Download the full size  ACP Infographic to help you recruit. 

Watch our Virtual Series: "Coaches' Wisdom for the ACP Paddler":

Want to get back in shape?

  • Watch this  Daily 10 min body weight exercise program that you can personalize to just get a bit fitter every day (does not replace the recommendations and guidelines of your healthcare professionals).

For more information visit Frequently Asked Questions

ACP Infographic

ACP Race
ACP Division Race 

Contact for futher information or to let us know about your ACP team or an ACP Division festival.