Our Dragons

Meet our team

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Karen Dougan - Captain

Kaz (Karen) Dougan joined the Lagan Dragons in January 2020. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2017 and then again in October 2020 and is now thankfully in remission. As a self-confessed long-time couch potato, she has found a new lease of life paddling with her dragon buddies on the river Lagan and in various dragon boat regattas. Kaz leads on strategic training matters within the UK civil service. She also swims, volunteers as a safety boat crew member, walks her two Jack Russells, is a TV/film extra, and is learning Arabic and the ukele (although not at the same time). Paddling is by far her favourite hobby though.

Rachel Reid - Head Coach

Rachel started dragon boating in 1991, racing in one or two annual fun events since then. 
She has competed at an elite level in several sports, representing Ulster and Ireland in rowing, rugby and tag rugby. Before becoming head coach with Lagan Dragons, she already had ten years of experience coaching rowing and five years coaching paddle sports. When not coaching, Rachel enjoys paddle sports, sailing and hill walking and is a civil engineer (in her spare time)!

Maura  Canavan – Treasurer

Maura joined the Lagan Dragons in April 2023 after attending an open day and was immediately hooked. Maura has three daughters all of whom are living outside of the country. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and has worked in finance throughout her career. Maura retired in 2021 from her job as Finance manager at Campbell College and has been enjoying doing whatever she likes! including some voluntary work, language courses, pilates, swimming, walking, and of course paddling with the Lagan Dragons. Through paddling, she has discovered strength and stamina she didn't know she had. More importantly, Maura feels it has been great to become part of a community and get fit as part of a team of strong women.

Estelle Leckey- Site Events Co-ordinator 

Estelle joined Lagan Dragons in 2018 following treatment for breast cancer and was hooked on dragonboating from her first moment in the boat. She is now a qualified helm and coach. Estelle values the support and camaraderie of her Dragon sisters and never more so than when she was diagnosed with another primary breast cancer in 2022. Estelle has a background in Law, and having retired from her post in Queens University in 2022, she is now free to spend more time doing what she loves..being out on the water with the Dragons.

Frances Matthews - Events Organiser

Frances has had many jobs from veterinary nurse, software trainer to book keeper. She has always been active - swimming, running marathons and since her second bout of breast cancer, competing with the Lagan Dragons.
She has found friendship, fun and laughter with her second family the Lagan Dragons.  Possessing a sweet tooth, Frances is also very fond of the cakes provided by our wonderful bakers after we finish our paddle!

Christine McCormick - Secretary

Christine has been a member of Lagan Dragons since 2019, a year after her breast cancer diagnosis. She heard about the Dragons whilst undergoing radiotherapy and decided to see what dragon boating was all about.
Christine is a speech & language therapist, working mostly with infants and children with eating, drinking, and swallowing difficulties. She finds getting out on the water very liberating, a great de-stressor and a total body workout. Christine has been surprised by how taking part in regattas, has brought out a competitive side she never knew she had!

Mabel Doherty  - Membership

Originally from Ballycastle Mabel feels blessed to now live beside the River Lagan. Mabel joined the Lagan Dragons in 2022, after a mastectomy and breast cancer treatment. Forty years ago she began her nursing career in the Mater Hospital and has worked both at home and away continuing to study as both Health Visitor and Teacher. After lecturing in Early Years in Further Education she has come full circle back to nursing with Open University. Mabel has three children and lots of hobbies one of which is golfing in Ormeau (but only on a good day!) Mabel feels it is a privilege to be a Dragon and in her new role as membership secretary will be available to answer any questions. As a new member you will have an induction to paddling where you can decide what is best for you as there are levels to suit everyone from the social paddlers to those of you with a more competitive streak.

Brenda Mulligan - PR/Social Media

Brenda has had an interest in Lagan Dragons since her Aunt Ann joined the club after a breast cancer diagnosis. From the first moment she knew it was a special place. Feeling a little out of her comfort zone for all of about two minutes before becoming hooked she really feels blessed at the opportunity to be out on the Lagan especially on the evening paddles. She loves to travel and  really enjoys taking part in Regattas for the opportunity to meet different teams and to compete whilst travelling around Ireland and as far as Barcelona, even a trip to France for a go at dragon boating on the snow! Brenda is mum to grown up twin boys and has spent most of her working life with children with special educational needs. 
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