Infinite Waves Dragon Boat Team

Donor Names: Christina Neumann and Rebecca VanderBurgh, co-captains of “Infinite Waves” Holland Bloorview’s dragon boat team.

A little about you: Christina is Holland Bloorview’s Manager of Aquatics and has worked at the hospital for 28 years. Rebecca, who has worked here for 19 years, is an occupational therapist. Both have been leading the hospital’s dragon boat team since 2007, and are currently recruiting new members for this year’s team!  A team consists of 20 paddlers, with Holland Bloorview staff and volunteers invited to join. (This year’s team is ladies only.)   

How did you give? For the second year in a row, Holland Bloorview will be the benefactor of the Living Reality Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival which takes place June 15-16, at Toronto Island. (The Festival will welcome 120-150 teams with over 5,000 athletes.) Last year’s event raised close to $10,000 for Holland Bloorview Foundation.  

What the best part? “It’s a great way to meet and learn about people all over the hospital,” said Rebecca. “When you’re paddling, different titles, different departments just disappear and you become teammates. You’re not a manager in the boat, you’re not a volunteer, you’re not a physiotherapist, you’re equals. And that leads to great friendships.”   

“The day of the event is like being young again,” joked Christina. “When we go to the island we feel like we’re going away for the weekend because you’re taking a boat, traveling together as a team, there’s an athlete’s village…it’s like camp!”

How can you get involved? To learn more about joining the team, check out www.dragonboats.com or contact Christina (cneumann@hollandbloorview.ca) or Rebecca (rvanderburgh@hollandbloorview.ca). No prior paddling experience is needed! A hired coach will train you! The team practices once a week for eight weeks leading up to the big festival. And for information about how to sponsor Holland Bloorview’s boat, contact Michelle Char at mchar@hollandbloorview.ca.