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IBCPC 2014 Participatory Festival, Sarasota
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To read IBCPC Articles related to the Sarasota Festival go to Sarasota 2014, Articles, on the navigation bar above.

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.

2014 IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat festival Sarasota USA  
Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone who helped to make the festival such a glorious event. We know it takes many hands and much planning so, we thank the Sarasota Organizing Committee, Kim Bonomo, Paula Jennings, Elaine Emmanuel, and Liz O'Connell, the IBCPC member teams, the 3500 plus paddlers and their supporters from seven countries, the many volunteers and race officials, sponsors and partners, all who contributed to the event's success.
Thank you all for your hard work, energy, determination, commitment and enthusiasm.
It all paid off and resulted in an unforgettable weekend.
See you next time!
Paddlers Up,
IBCPC Steering Committee

Sarasota Logo Revisit the 2014 IBCPC Participatory Festival events in Sarasota.

Herald Tribune Photo Slideshows Opening, Races, Parade, Closing
and here are the Race Results.
Also a fabulous aerial video of the event.

Background to Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat 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.

Peterborough international Festival 2010 Flowers on the water.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.

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, and more recently Peterborough, Canada in 2010 (both of which had over 2000 participants). Each festival provided breast cancer survivors with the opportunity to network, attend workshops, paddle and celebrate life! The next international festival will be will be held in Sarasota in 2014.

During this time it became apparent that we need to ensure international festivals continue to promote participation and inclusiveness – this is where the IBCPC comes in.

Click here to read a message from our President, Jane Frost. 

Peterborough International Festival 2010


Latest Sarasota 2014
Bulletin #11

Latest IBCPC Newsletter
September, 2014

How to Start a Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Team

IBCPC Steering, April 2014

Pan Am Dragon Boat Paddling & Steering Clinics 2014.
In the U.S.

Membership application form.

Video. Internationally Abreast's Jubilee Pageant


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