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News from Canada

From our newest Canadian National Rep, Colleen Ridley, she tells us what Chemo Savvy is up to.

Good day Linda, sister paddlers, and IBCPC Teams!

I am writing today to update you all, and to share the "Chemo Savvy Colour Wars Playbook" with other Prairie IBCPC Teams. In Winnipeg, winter keeps Chemo Savvy paddlers indoors, so we do group training and team building without the use of the dragon boats. Covid in 2020/21 has kept us further isolated and quarantined more than 90 of our members, providing even greater challenges for meaningful connections, physical and mental health and fitness.

The entire Chemo Savvy Team gets-together via Zoom every Wednesday night for sharing in addition to the Colour Wars (over 80% participation rate). We hear a personal testimonial from one of our BC survivors, and are always moved and inspired. These stories reinforce why we are a tribe of passionate and compassionate paddlers! We then have a group fitness session led by incredible professional leaders, using dyna-bands, or yoga, or Zumba (led by our own Lesly K). We also sold out our Begonia drive by 0800 hrs on the first day, which is evidence our connections are strengthened in spite of Covid.

In the true Chemo Savvy way, the leadership developed "Colour Wars", a competitive team building fitness and wellness program to challenge ourselves and each other, while increasing connections and support system for each other. This initiative is championed and lead by our talented team coaches, dedicated to keeping us trained and focused. Covid has made us all "up our game"!

In summary, in the Colour Wars, we have five colour teams (I co-captain the 18-member purple team, which decided to name ourselves Triple P - Passionate Purple Paddlers, complete with team song (to the Tune "We are the Champions", and another catchy team chant). We maintain a What's App group to share photos, progress, and words of encouragement with our teammates. We also post photos and progress with/in competition with, the other colour teams, who also make and share their own journey to support and encourage each other on a Chemo Savvy Group Face Book Page, a Group What's App, and of course e-mail. We get together in our team colours, in very small groups for walks, or other safe (and according to Covid prevention guidelines) outdoor activities. We connect by phone, instant messaging and occasional Zoom meetings. We work together for almost three months as the wars begin, unfold and will disband at the end, hopefully in time to get back onto the water (if not possible, we'll figure out what's next!). Attached, you will find templates and how we set-up, track and run the program.