Dragon Boating - great fun, great exercise and good for you!
Busting With Life paddles 'race of the season' in Ashburton (April 2010)
The Ascot Radiology Pink Dragons (Auckland) are recruiting new Members now for their 2009-2010 season!
Dragon Boating and Breast Cancer Survivorship
Dr. Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, established the first Dragon Boat team of breast cancer survivors in 1996. (The picture at left is of the Ascot Radiology Pink Dragons, heading out for a session on the water!)
Abreast in a Boat set out to see if repetitive upper body exercise would cause lymphoedema in women who had received treatment for breast cancer.
Dr. McKenzie believed that a special exercise and training programme could help women avoid lymphoedema and indeed he was proved right when, after monitoring the team for a period of time, no new cases of the condition occurred and those with existing conditions did not become worse.
The Dragon Boating precedent set by Abreast in a Boat caught on and now there are teams of breast cancer survivors throughout the world enjoying good exercise, lots of fun and the camaraderie and fellowship of other women who have also experienced breast cancer.
New Zealand has a number of Dragon Boat teams of breast cancer survivors. For more information about Dragon Boating and joining a team, please call us on 0800 BreaCanSupport (0800 273 222) and we can put you in touch with a team in your area. It's lots of fun.
Busting With Life paddle ‘the race of the season’ in Ashburton!
This item from BWL Team Member Leslie Ash
You have to love Canterbury weather. 30 degrees C on “travel” day and a balmy 15 degrees C on race day!
The 2010 NZ Dragon Boat Nationals hosted by Aoraki DBA and held at Lake Hood near Ashburton was a wonderful venue. The weather conditions were challenging; the competition was hot. Kudos to Meri Gibson and her team for running such a fantastic event.
We had brought the National BC trophy down to Ashburton with us knowing full well that we would have to paddle the race of the season if we wanted to bring it home again this year.
Busting with Life made a commitment as a team this year that we would fully align with the international standards for BC teams which requires all those on the boat to be BC survivors including drummer and sweep. Our coach Sean was looking forward to staying warm and dry from a safe position on the shore!
Each of the 6 BC teams raced in 4 open division races throughout the day, monitoring times, energy levels of team members and honing strategies in the build up to The Breast Cancer survivors’ Division Grand Final.
There may not always be the muscle strength and stamina of youth across the BC teams but if the measures are about passion, willingness to participate and dogged determination then this collective group has it in bucket loads.
Sean believed we could do it and he never waivered in that belief. He sent us off to the start line reminding us to have fun and breathe!
“Ladies, we have a start line – ATTENTION! – GO!!!” It gets a bit blurry at this point. The noise, the water, the excitement and tension as we race down the course towards the finish at a frantic pace. Sweep JoJo was brilliant, found her voice and did she use it!
A photo finish for confirmation of results was required…..
We had 7 boats rafted up for the Flower Ceremony on Lake Hood. It is such a poignant reminder of all the elements that encompass the journey that is Breast Cancer and allows us all to pay respect to those who are no longer with us.
The plaintive call of the karakia by local iwi followed by the haka from the combined armed forces of the NZ Army and Air Force rang out across the lake. The aroha and inclusiveness of the NZ dragon boating family towards the BC teams is truly overwhelming.
Lakeside drinks and nibbles were generously provided by the Abreast of Life team as we cheered on the remaining finals with all thoughts of being wet and cold forgotten.
Big party and prizegiving at the Ashburton Hotel – a great time was had! What goes on tour stays on tour!
The NZBCF sponsored breakfast held at Lake Hood Resort Restaurant on Sunday morning was a fun mix and mingle event and it was great to chat on an informal basis with fellow teams who had been in opposition just a few hours before.
Oh, by the way… the Trophy was repacked in its carrier bag and brought back safely to Auckland by the triumphant Busting with Life Team! We won by the narrowest of margins and we know that margin is shrinking all the time!
For more information about Busting with Life or if you would like to join the team please see www.bustingwithlife.co.nz
Leslie Ash April 2010
The Ascot Radiology Pink Dragons
(Posted December 2009)
Would you like to join our team? We'd love to hear from you. We’re recruiting new Members now so visit our website and get to know us!
The Pink Dragons are a team of breast cancer survivors who, through their participation in Dragon Boating, help to promote the benefits of leading an active life after surviving breast cancer.
We paddle to encourage others, regardless of age, to join us and have heaps of fun. We aim to inspire other breast cancer survivors to celebrate life, leading by example, through our participation in the exciting and exhilarating sport of dragon boating.
You don’t need any experience to join our team - all we ask is that you can commit a little of your time for on water training and regattas during the paddling season October to March. Training takes place twice a week at Westhaven Marina in Auckland. Why not give it a go, we promise you will have fun and get fit at the same time!
For more information about the team and 2009-2010 events schedule, please visit the Pink Dragons website or contact Robin (09) 630 6423 or 021 146 8381.
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