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From the desk of the President

From the Desk of Meri Gibson, IBCPC Global President.

Oh, my goodness…….wow, wow, and wow.

That is all I can say in terms of how amazing the festival in New Zealand was. I know I am biased as it was in my home country, and I know I was behind the bid to bring the festival to New Zealand. but I also know how hard everyone worked from the day the bid was placed to when we won the bid and then the planning began.

Each moment of each day was inspirational regardless of what was on offer. The spirited chants, races and who could forget the noise and laughter of the street parade. Having the biggest flower ceremony yet, albeit it on land rather than in the 24 boats we had for the occasion, was just wonderful. People are now asking if we can have the flower ceremony on land again as it was so inclusive. Yes, go big or go home. As a small country we always aim high.

These festivals are nothing but sheer moments of joy. Celebrating those who have succumbed to this invidious disease is also extremely important and we know that we all do that with the greatest of respect. The opportunity to add metastatic paddlers to join us on the “water” was an incredibly special moment for them and us all. We applaud their bravery.

I want to thank you all for each part you played in this festival.

I won’t apologise that this newsletter is very much a focus on stories of adventures at the festival, there were so many to choose from. We know this will help keep the memories front of mind for you all and bring alive the occasions for those who could not attend.

Thank you all again for entrusting me to continue as President of IBCPC, we are on a fabulous trajectory globally and after all that is what this is all about, “to encourage the development 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 lifestyle for those diagnosed with breast cancer.” “Exercise is Medicine.”

Best wishes for all of you for the paddling seasons as they begin in the northern Hemisphere, it is so fantastic to watch everyone traveling happily again and renewing and sharing wonderful friendships at the various regattas.

Happy paddling everyone.