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Updates from Brazil


Text written with the help of the journalist and supporter (and rower) Ivanir Ferreira

At the end of February, Brazil had the first official case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The experience of other countries that had already faced the peak of the pandemic indicated that as long as there was no known medicine or vaccine to help fight the disease, the best way to minimize its impact would be social isolation to reduce the risk of contagion and transmission of the virus. In this context, we had to leave behind our paradise - the Olympic Streak of the University of São Paulo, where we usually have our twice-a-week pink rowers group practice.

A place for meetings, hugs, kisses, cuddles, friendships and socialization. But, staying at home was necessary. And each one of us, in our own ways, had to make changes in our routines.

However, the social distancing imposed by the covid-19 pandemic would not totally isolate us, women that are used to facing great challenges in their lives.

We remained at home, but active. For this to happen, there was significant attention from teachers, coaches and researchers involved in the Remama Program regarding the preparation of training through video classes that was made available to us virtually. "We did stretching, strengthening, isometric and flexibility exercises".

Afterwards, each one of us posted to the rest of the group what they had done at home, in order to receive guidance regarding the need of movement adjustments by the teachers.

Some, who were already more active before isolation, added dance, rope skipping, yoga exercises and brisk walking.

Virtual meetings were also held for us to see each other and chat a little.

On May 23, a video commemorating the 07 years of formation of the Remama Group and 03 years of the Remama Dragão Rosa Team was produced by one of the members with the contribution of the vast majority of the rowers.

According to our Team Manager, Denise Chagas, the video reinforced the feeling of belonging of the women in the group. “Memories of good times lived by us during all this time”.

There were also countless activities, such as skilled sewing, for example, to make masks to be donated to the humanization department of the Cancer Institute of the State of São Paulo (ICESP).

About the moment we are living in, Denise adds that it is a time for reflection and also of uncertainty. “How and when we will return to training, one wonders. Many things will probably change, one of them might be the positioning of the rowers inside the boat that will need to be reviewed for the greater safety of all", she concludes.

The Umauma Dragon Boat Brasil team

The UMAUMA Dragon Boat Brasil Team, was created by canoe athlete Alessandra Rodrigues Pereira, after attending the Breast Cancer Survivors Festival in 2016.

Touched and inspired by the Flower Ceremony and experiencing her mother's recent breast cancer diagnosis, she decided to take the knowledge acquired throughout her sports career, inserting more people diagnosed with cancer in the Dragon Boat canoeing sport. According to Canadian doctor Dr. Donald Mckenzie, creator of this worldwide movement, the Dragon Boat brings countless physical and emotional benefits to people who have had or are still treating breast cancer.

After the project was prepared and the IBCPC (International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission), representative of Brazil contacted, the first strokes were set on course, and, thus, the Umauma Team was officially born on September 10, 2018.

The word Umauma was chosen for its iconic meaning: In the Hawaiian dialect, it means breasts. They are so important in the life of all women, from the point of view of aesthetics, femininity and sexuality.

We then became an official IBCPC team, which allows us to compete in national / international festivals and events. Another step conquered with vibration and the certainty that new oars and new directions are unveiled and, with them, other experiences and friendships celebrating life.

Moreover, with great joy, enthusiasm and determination, on February 4, 2020, we became Instituto Umauma, which allows us to open doors for new partnerships. So many emotions these women have gone through to accomplish this and, always united in the same purpose, we continue strong, confident, hand in hand, one by one, linking more and more women to reverberate light, health and new life.

Our flag is UMAUMA!