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The Association "U.G.O. - Unite Gareggiamo Ovunque Onlus" Padova, Italy

An update written by the UGO team.

UGO - Unite Gareggiamo Ovunque (which means: United we Compete Everywhere), is a team born in June 2015 when a pilot project was launched within the Breast Unit of the IOV (Istituto Oncologico Veneto) on the initiative of a psycho- oncologist who strongly believed in the Canadian project of Dr. McKenzie. At the end of the 3-month experimentation, the 12 women who had been involved were so passionate about the sport itself that they decided to continue the experience thanks to the collaboration with the Canottieri Padova and with the Cultural and Sports Recreational Association (ARCS) of employees of the University of Padua.

About fifteen women, recognized as suitable for a physiatry examination, thus participated in this new adventure, which immediately confirmed the important benefits of the dragon boat, both from the point of view of physical and psychological recovery. It is impossible to do without the desire to be together and the desire to live the team spirit to achieve a common goal. At the end of the 3-month experimentation, the 15 women who had been involved became so passionate about the sport itself that they decided to continue the experience by forming a team.

In a few years, the "UGO" have become about fifty and currently train twice a week at the Canottieri Padova under the guidance of Michele Galantucci, competitive athlete and national dragon boat champion.

Since 2016, the Paduan team has started competing both in Italy and abroad (Vienna, Barcelona, Venice ...), with the aim of making known and experiencing the positive force of this discipline to all women operated on for breast cancer.

In 2018, they participated in the IBCPC worldwide Festival, held in Florence from 6 to 8 July, “an incredible experience that marked all of us deep in our hearts”.

After this extraordinary experience, they set themselves the goal of participating in the Dragon Boat Festival in pink, in New Zealand in April 2023.

In 2019 they formed the UGO Unite Association We Compete Everywhere Onlus with the mission of promoting and disseminating the benefits of physical activity, the values of sport and the pursuit of psycho-physical health of breast operated women.

The association aims as a point of unity and continuity between the end of medical treatments and the complete and full recovery. In order to face and overcome the disease, it is necessary to relate to it in a positive way, without hiding or isolating. Sharing experiences with other women who live a similar situation is an important element of maturation towards a better way of facing the rehabilitation process.

Team UGO, as well as all pink women, with the practice of dragon boat - one sport that wants to say courage, vitality and friendship - forcefully launch a message of courage and hope by offering an opportunity for health promotion, supported by women and aimed at other women.

However, for UGO’s members the association exists not only to practice sport, but also as testimony. We also do social solidarity activities. Above all, testimony to women who have suffered this type of disease, to let them know our lifestyle and urge them not to be discouraged, explaining that doing activities serves to recover morally, but also to find physical.