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From the Desk of the President

From the Desk of Meri Gibson, IBCPC Global President.

It is so hard to believe that we are almost at the end of the year and before we know it Christmas will be with us and we will be into 2023 which will bring the long awaited and much anticipated IBCPC participatory Dragon boat Festival to New Zealand in April 2023. We’ve been really thrilled by the numbers that are coming to New Zealand not only are they coming for the festival, but many are also coming to tick a major item of their bucket list by touring the country both before and after the festival.

2022 has certainly been challenging for all of us as we finally seem to be coming to the end of Covid and the restrictions that entailed. We are not naive enough to think that the pandemic or the virus itself has gone away it certainly has not, however we seem to have returned to some semblance of normal. We are all travelling again and this has been borne out by the IBCPC outreach clinic to Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas, the first international dragon boat festival in the Bahamas, the IDBF Club Crew World Championships in Sarasota, USA, the EDBF championships and European Club Crew Championships in Banyoles, Spain, the first Breast Cancer festival in Brazil, along with many other festivals and regatta across the regions in which we have breast cancer survivor paddling teams.

The growth of teams has been exponential over the last four years and it looks like we are well on target to achieve the more than 300 teams representing some 15,000 odd paddlers globally that we had hoped for when we set our 5-year strategic plan in place, and we still have three years of that plan to run. The latest additional country to join us is Guatemala so we are now sitting at 37 countries across the globe. We are currently in consultation with other countries across Europe and the Americas looking to start BCS paddler teams. They are asking us about outreach clinics which we will be planning to take there in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2023.

I want to pass on my thanks to my fellow IBCPC board members through what has been an incredibly challenging number of years with some sense of normality returning this year. I express my extreme gratitude for their strength and tenacity and their unending support of me as President.

I want to wish each one of you a sensational and stunning Christmas and holiday season, and all the very best for the New Year. I’m super excited to be able to welcome you to my home, New Zealand in April 2023.

Take care, stay safe and well. Happy holidays.

Many big hugs and much love always