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Letter from the President

June 2021

Wow, what a very busy and exciting few months we have had since last writing to you all.

Our follow up work on our strategic plan and targets of growth have been amazing. We have seen the development of the Medical Advisory Panel (MAP) headed by Tracy Sexton, medical radiology oncologist from Canada. This panel is very important as it is about “paddlers for paddlers” emphasising that “Exercise is Medicine”. All of the members are breast cancer survivors and all are paddlers, so who better to know and understand what all of us have been through and in many cases continue to go through. All of the panel members work in areas of medicine and patient advocacy that directly links to our paddlers. Rest assured that you are all in very good hands. Tracy is very excited to be working with her panel and looking at positive initiatives as we move forward.

We have seen the restructure of the National and Continental representative programmes, with many fabulous new representatives joining us and also the newly formed role of Country Liaison representatives coming on board also. You will have received notification of these members in the special edition of the newsletter in late May. In addition, we have appointed a Men’s BCS Ambassador, Mark O’Connor, from Ireland. Mark is a rock star in his advocacy of men having their breasts checked, and whilst going through a recent rough patch with a secondary diagnosis he is really focussed on the task ahead. We have also seen new teams join IBCPC from China, Germany, Spain, Cyprus and Brazil, sitting at over 260 teams across the globe. As they say, “put your sunglasses on as the future looks very bright”.

We also had a wonderful webinar with the dragon boat teams and wider campus from John Hopkins University, Maryland, Baltimore, USA. This initiative was spearheaded by Betty Solley who will report further on in the newsletter. We are engaged in working with these bright young minds in what an outreach looks like and what it entails.

Here in New Zealand, we had our National Championships at the end of March, with representatives from 9 of the 10 BC teams attending the nationals. We are very lucky, blessed, and grateful to have been able to enjoy a full season on the water culminating in the championships.

As the world starts to slowly but surely open up, New Zealand is now over a month into a travel bubble with Australia. We are sure that more and more of you will be able to get on to the water as down under we start to hibernate in the coming winter months.

We are kept up to date on the passing of our members and we are always saddened by the passing of any of our members as those “angels abreast” cross the bridge to paddle in their own special boat; we carry beautiful memories of them all.

"RIP to all who have passed in these last months, may you rest in eternal love and fly free of pain."

Best regards to you all. Stay well and stay connected.