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Restructure of the representative programs

Following on from the development and feedback from the publication of our strategic plan we are moving forward to renew our National and Continental Representative programs.

Currently, IBCPC National and Continental Representatives have liaised with members of the Steering Committee to keep teams informed and to help the Steering Committee to know and be able to publicize what’s happening with breast cancer paddling teams worldwide through our Newsletter and various social media platforms. Going forward in order to streamline the structure and enhance communication, the National Reps will now collaborate with Regional Coordinators. The Regional Coordinator position will replace the Continental Rep position.

IBCPC teams across the world, will now be coordinated by these Regional Coordinators:

Canada: Linda Kuska

USA: Betty Solley

UAE, Qatar, Oceania: Ali Sutton

Asia, Israel, South Africa: Meri Gibson

Latin and South America, Europe: Lucia De Ranieri

As new countries join the IBCPC, rather than immediately appointing a National Representative, a Country Liaison will be nominated and appointed to collaborate with the Regional Coordinator. Once a country has at least three teams a National Representative will be appointed. Current National Reps who coordinate with less than three teams in their country will remain in their roles.

We sincerely thank those IBCPC Representatives who will continue to do the good work of the IBCPC for teams in their country as well as those whose positions have been realigned, changed, or who have resigned. We have all benefited from the energy and dedication of our IBCPC National and Continental Representatives. As we move forward to the new system of team representation, we cannot strongly enough express our gratitude for the good work these IBCPC Representatives have done from the early days of our organization.

In other news, we are pleased to announce the appointment of two National Reps for Argentina: Matilde Yahni and Lia del Prado. See their bio's at the bottom of this article.

We know there are currently six new teams in the process of forming in Argentina so these National Reps will certainly have their work cut out for them. We are also glad to confirm Paula Farías Cañete as National Representative for Chile where there are five other teams in the process of forming- another very busy National Rep.

We are looking for a new National Representative in Brazil. Larissa Lima was nominated, but unfortunately is unable to accept the position right now as she currently works on the front lines with COVID-19. In the interim Cleusa Alonso has agreed to continue as the Country Liaison.

We understand that more teams are forming in France and Spain so we’ll be looking for further representation there as well. In Canada, National Reps are being restructured to better fit in with the geographical regions. Teams can look forward to the notification for nomination of regional National Reps to be sent to them by Linda Kuska. We do wish to announce that Elizabeth Ford is the new National rep for Vancouver Island and Chantal Lachance is the new National Rep for the Eastern Canadian teams. In Italy, according to a reorganization of representation, Daniela Domaneschi has been appointed National Rep to represent teams to the north of the country for a better balance of overall team representation.

A huge welcome on board to all our IBCPC Representatives, we are very excited about the future you bring to IBCPC, its members and the member teams in your regions. If you know of someone you would like to nominate to become an IBCPC National Representative in your country, please email

Your Steering Committee has been actively engaging with National Reps and members on Zoom and we look forward to ongoing engagement with teams worldwide. We hope it won’t be too long before all our teams across the world are able to once again get together on the water.

Please meet Lia A. Del Prado - new National Representative for Argentina

In 2012 Lia was diagnosed with breast cancer, with a Birads 5 scoring (highly suspicious) she, entered surgery and had a right quadrantectomy, followed by chemotherapy for 7 months and radiation therapy: 31 applications every day. Lia continued with hormonal therapy until January 2018, when she found a discomfort in her right breast. The breast was biopsied, with a new primary tumour diagnosed, triple negative, between urgent surgery, she had a right mastectomy, then again, she underwent chemotherapy for 8 months.

Lia has a degree in psychopedagogy, with a postgraduate degree in cognitive and integrative therapy, with orientation in neuroscience. Since 2011 Lia has been a university lecturer in the undergraduate degree in psychopedagogy, at the Catholic University of La Plata, in the subject of Organizational and Institutional Labor Psychopedagogy with a specialty in forensic psychopedagogy. She has been working in the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Nation for the past 28 years.

Lia was the founder of Remeras Rosas (Pink Paddlers) the first team of female breast cancer survivors in Latin America, paddling for life. They were part of South America's first group of survivors in Argentina. Remeras Rosas, from La Plata city, Buenos Aires, Argentina, was recognized and formally registered with the IBCPC, the starting point for the current number of more than 20 groups across Latin American countries having been joined by countries such as: Chile; Brazil, Colombia, Panama. Lia’s involvement in recognition in breast cancer dragon boating as being critical to recovery is as follows:

November 2013: Remeras Rosa received Symbolic Endorsement of the Argentine Association of Sports Traumatology March 2016: Silver Kayak, for using paddling as a communication tool, "La Marea" Annual Kayakers Meeting, Martin Garcia Island October 2016: IBCPC Recognition IBCPC to the First Team in Central and South America October 2016: Remeras Rosas declared of Municipal Interest, Deliberative Council of the City of La Plata October 2018: Argentine Society of Mastology: Support and Recognition for Remeras Rosas in the use of paddling as an appropriate and beneficial sport for the recovery of women who have undergone breast cancer treatment, supporting the activity and the groups that promote it and spread. October 2018: "Pink Paddling" Declared of Provincial Legislative Interest, Honorable Chamber of Deputies of the Province of Buenos Aires March 8, 2019: International Women's Day, Florentina Gómez Miranda Distinction, in Recognition of efforts and outstanding Work and Commitment adopted with the City of Berisso, Deliberative Council, Municipality of Berisso. Bs As. ARG April 24, 2019: Recognition "Physical Activity, A Way of Life" Honorable Chamber of Deputies of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina Lia is a media personality, and is in her words: “raising awareness 365 days a year participating in local and international radio and tv media”.

Please meet Matilde Yahni - new National Representative for Argentina

Matilde Yahni

Matilde was born in Buenos Aires 56 years ago. She has a solid career as a medical doctor. Matilde comes from a family of doctors, with her father and two brothers all medical doctors. Matilde specialized in Family medicine having completed a residency both in Buenos Aires and at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She also undertook postgraduate studies in diabetes and nutrition. Matilde has a passion for languages and she can communicate easily in Spanish, her native language, English, French, Italian and German. Matilde is the proud mother of Lucas and Paul who share with her, her passion for art, music and sports.

Matilde was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 2015 and six months later a different type of breast cancer, was found in the other breast. As four close relatives had also had aggressive breast cancers her doctor recommended bilateral mastectomy with further reconstruction in 2016 and 2017.

Matilde has rowed in boats and paddled in kayaks from an early age and has competed for her rowing club for 10 years. After her recovery from breast surgery, she heard about IBCPC and pink paddling and she started contacting former patients who had had breast cancer, along with friends and acquaintances and from this Rosas del Plata was formed in July 2015. As she has paddled since the age of 6 it was second nature to her to start the team!

Matilde is extremely energetic and loves socialising and got her team together under one dream ‘Let’s go to Florence in 2018’ and so they did … What an incredible adventure that was and one that Matilde and her team will hold in their hearts for many years to come. Matilde worked hard with her team to buy a dragon boat despite living in Argentina, where the economic situation is not good at all. But through sheer determination, Rosas del Plata now has two baby dragons, 40 pink paddlers and they train 3 times a week on a beautiful lake, called Nordelta. The next dream to fulfil is taking the team to Lake Karapiro festival and Matilde, enthusiastically has already registered a complete crew, “let’s go to New Zealand in 2023 “is her next objective