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IBCPC 2014 Participatory Festival in Sarasota.

Sarasota Festival 2014
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Here are some photos from the 2nd IBCPC Congress held at the Sarasota Festival

There are more photos in the Second Congress Gallery.

Jenny and Jane at 2014 congress

Jane Frost


Enjoying "nd Congresss refreshments

Audience at the "nd Congress

Debate at "nd Congress

Welcome to the International Breast Cancer Paddlers' Commission

The IBCPC is an international organisation whose mandate is to encourage the establishment of breast cancer dragon boat teams, within the framework of participation and inclusiveness. We support the development of recreational dragon boat paddling as a contribution to a healthy life style for those diagnosed with breast cancer.

As the breast cancer dragon boat movement grows internationally, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the disease and about life after breast cancer. We know a full and and active life is possible. The IBCPC was created to spread this message.
Together we are stronger, our voices are louder and the message is clearer.

Being part of the IBCPC provides breast cancer survivors with the opportunity to network with international teams. This enables the teams to share information, receive regular newsletters and updates, and also to share best practices with other teams and to interact with fellow paddlers around the world.

The Sarasota Participatory Festival visitor survey.
Thank you so much for completing the IBCPC survey for feedback on Sarasota 2014. The IBCPC Steering Committee is thrilled to report that there were 525 responses before the survey closed on December 21 This response is wonderful and will be important for planning the next festival. Again, thank you for your efforts!

The  IBCPC Second Congress Minutes October 24, 2014 are now available under Documents.

IBCPC is excited about sharing three links to important internet resources about breast cancer.
Check them out.

1. The keynote speaker at the 2014 IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival, Dr. Susan Love, spoke with passion and excitement about the importance of participating in research studies, and how these studies will be strong contributors to a future without breast cancer.
Take a look at current projects on the Army of Women
 website (a project of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation), and get involved:
You can also check out the Foundation website at

2. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the most reliable, complete, and up-to-date information about breast cancer. 
Marisa Weiss, M.D. is the founder, president, and a breast cancer oncologist with more than 20 years of practice in the Philadelphia region. Dr. Weiss has authored books on breast cancer and breast health and as a renowned leader in the field has made several guest appearances on television shows such as ABCs Good Morning America, CNN, and Dr. OZ

3. Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) is a national nonprofit education and support organization serving women and families affected by breast cancer. LBBC's mission is to empower all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. 

The Origins of Breast Cancer Paddling

Dr. Don McKenzieBreast cancer survivor dragon boat paddling began at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada in 1996. Dr. Don McKenzie, a Professor in the Department of Sports Medicine and exercise physiologist challenged the prevailing medical thinking that women treated for breast cancer should avoid rigorous upper body exercise for fear of developing lymphoedema, a debilitating and chronic side effect of treatment.

He developed a programme to determine the impact of exercise on breast cancer survivors, choosing dragon boat paddling as the epitome of strenuous, repetitive upper body exercise. He trained twenty four breast cancer volunteers in a gym for three months, introduced them to dragon boats and taught them paddling techniques. At the end of the three month season on the water none of the volunteers had lymphoedema.

While Dr. McKenzie’s medical experiment/project was complete, the women found they were fitter, healthier and happier. They loved the camaraderie and support of their fellow paddlers and had regained control of their lives. They realised that dragon boat paddling could become a means to raise awareness of breast cancer and of the ability of survivors to lead normal lives. They named their team ‘Abreast In A Boat’ and invited other survivors to share their exciting experience.

Over the years the movement progressed to other areas in Canada and was introduced to other countries by breast cancer survivors who saw the benefit for survivors. These inspirational individuals started communicating across the miles, providing much support and encouragement to see other survivors reap the benefit of dragon boating and the health and fitness benefits it provided. Special mention should be made also to the amazing awareness made to the public on breast cancer.Flower ceremony Sarasota 2014

Since 1996, as more and more interest came about we saw representatives from different countries joining together to paddle together in different places including Canada, Australia, Italy, Penang, New Zealand, Singapore, Poland and the United States. In 2005 a celebration of the start of Abreast In A Boat occurred in Vancouver, Canada – an international event with over 2000 breast cancer survivors from around the world. Following this festival Australia hosted ‘Abreast in Australia’ in 2007. Further festivals followed in Peterborough, Canada in 2010, and more recently Sarasota, Florida U.S.A in 2014. Each festival provided breast cancer survivors with the opportunity to network, attend workshops, paddle and celebrate life!

Plans are underway to identify the host country for the next festival in 2017/18. It continues to be important to promote participation and inclusiveness for these international festivals — this is where the IBCPC comes in.

Dr Don McKenzie at Sarasota 2014

Dr. Don McKenzie speaks at Sarasota 2014

Abreast in a Boat
A race against breast cancer, Donald C. McKenzie,
MD., PhD.

"We're All in the Same Boat." A Review of the Benefits of Dragon Boat Racing for Women Living with Breast Cancer, Susan R. Harris.

Latest IBCPC Newsletter
December, 2014

How to Start a Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Team

Membership application form.

Video. Internationally Abreast's Jubilee Pageant


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