New announcement. Learn more


From the desk of IBCPC President Meri Gibson

Best wishes for a very Happy New Year everyone. It seems such a long time ago since we turned over the pages of the calendar to 2020 and so much seems to have happened for so many of you since our last greeting in December 2019.

The northern Hemisphere has been sheltering from the cold, although a few hearty souls have recently been “paddling” at the Ice Dragon Boat festival in Ottawa, Canada and I am sure we will have an update from the BC attendees. One of my colleagues from New Zealand went to the event and she told me that the announcer said  that a “kiwi” was present. Biff said she was then inundated with questions about New Zealand and many good wishes for the festival with huge interest in attending. The rest of you have most likely been chilling out on hot chocolate drinks and thinking about when you can dust off the spring paddling clothes ready for that first tentative step into the dragon boat after the winter.

While we down here in the Southern Hemisphere have been enjoying incredibly warm days, lazing at the beach, visiting families and friends over the long summer holidays and very slowly getting back to training as we head towards the crunchy end of the season with our regional/state championships followed closely by the National championships. So the hard work is really kicking in now and I’m sure many of those coaches will be cracking the whip as their demands get a little more intense over the next few weeks/months.

In New Zealand we also celebrated Waitangi day, a national holiday to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. One of our paddlers was lucky enough to paddle in the special Maori waka to commemorate the day. You can spot Barb in the photo (she is the blonde in row five. Some of you may recognise her as the flag bearer for New Zealand at the closing ceremony in Florence. 

With such a long break for both hemisphere’s we do not have many stories to bring you, but most of you have been keeping up to date with our social media posts on Facebook. We have built a tremendous following there. With the notification of the festival venue reaching over 10,000. Each of our weekly posts pulls in at least 2000-3500 reaches, we are really happy with that as we also have lots of shares of our content and each week we build more page likes, followers, post reaches and post engagements. So a huge thank you to you all for sharing with us. 

There has also been tremendous engagement on the NZBCS2022 festival website. We expected about 200 subscribers and foolishly I told the web developer to just let the subscriptions drop down to my email address. Well that was not well thought out as there have been over 1200 subscriptions and I can tell you that I have checked each email personally. I also felt it was important for me to answer the first wave of questions before registration opened as I wanted the information to be consistent. Answering emails and questions has been a big task, but an enjoyable one. We have also found new teams and paddlers who wish to join IBCPC. That is very exciting as we've have now pushed past 240 teams across 30 countries and 6 continents.

We also want to thank you for the wonderful feedback on our new website. You have said its modern, it's easy to navigate, it's very well appointed and other such great comments. Please do explore the site if you haven't already.

are very excited about the largest number of breast cancer paddler teams that have entered the IDBF Club Crew World Championships (CCWC) in Aix les Bains, France in August of this year. Participation is at the core of what IBCPC is and what we do, but for those teams wanting that little extra then CCWC is there for them. Our “coach” Linda Kuska has had a large number of teams contact her for coaching and training tips. Thank you Linda for sharing how you do this and sharing the Rowbust story. Further in this newsletter Linda talks about the importance of core work... I feel like I need to get out and do a bit more, maybe some planks... 

Take care, enjoy your paddling season and most importantly stay well.

Kindest regards


Latinoamericano en Rosa. Neuquén. ArgentinaPrimer Encuentro  An artcile by Viviana CámaraLadies Pink. Santa Fe. Argentina

To remember what we have experienced in the “Primer Encuentro Latinoamericano en Rosa” in Neuquén and Laguna China Muerta-Rincón de Limay-Plottier, in the city of Plottier, Neuquén, Argentina, fills our hearts and souls with joy.
We went through a lot of emotions but, mainly, we understood that sharing and celebrating life is what brought us together. The group of women “Ladies Pink” from Santa Fe, Argentina, paddled a dragon boat for the very first time. The silence of the waters in Laguna China Muerta, the sound of the drum and the boat moving forward were a perfect conjunction in order to understand that we are alive and that “together, together, together” we are making the difference. Carina expresses it this way:  “An extraordinary experience I never thought I would be living in my whole life. God put me in this place“, while Viviana says that “the words are not enough to describe such joy. Honoring life with so many sisters was a great blessing for me”.
 We congratulate the civil association Rosa Fénix for the excellent organization of the event and we thank them for facilitating  this meeting of pink ladies in Patagonia, Argentina.

Hands across the water, friendships renewed through breast cancer paddling.An article from Matilde Yahni, Rosas, del Plata, Tigre, Beunos Aires, Argentina.
 Jeanette Bauermeister was from Bahia, Brazil. She had short blonde hair, a big smile, and was a good student with a great sense of humor.  We got along very well, we sat together and I remember reading  with her "To Sir With Love" and "A Tale of Two Cities" in Senior I, Northlands high school , Buenos Aires, Argentina.
One day, in Senior III, she disappeared.  We knew nothing about her: maybe she had transferred schools or went back to Brazil? Forty years went by. Last November 15th I was in Neuquen in LR19 : dragon boat festival  for PINK PADDLERS.
It was a Latin American festival: teams from Chile, Brazil, and many provinces in Argentina, including us: "Rosas del Plata", from Buenos Aires. The queue was long, we were all waiting for lunch to be served: a huge paella that looked very tasty.  My team was standing behind one of the Brazilian teams: UAMAMA
Suddenly, someone called her name out loud and she answered.  I recognized her voice right away, her big smile and I had a look at her badge confirming my suspicion.  It was her.
I stood in front of her and asked: “ Who am I?”
She was stunned, looked at my badge and read my name.  A long warm hug, full of emotion, followed.  All the ladies around us, were intrigued by these two friends laughing and crying with joy. 
Jeanette lives in São Paulo.  She had breast cancer and recovered just as I did.
She is the captain of a breast cancer survivors team , just as I am. She is an Old Northlander alumni, just as I am.
40 years had gone by.  Mountains do not meet, people do. Jeanette promised to come next October (2020) to Buenos Aires , to celebrate with us the 100th year anniversary of our school, Northlands. It will be quite the celebration. 

Matilde Yahni, Old Northlander’82 , captain of Rosas del Plata

Winter in Canada Submitted by Linda Kuska - London, Ontario, Canada

As I write this there are 40 days until SPRING!!  

And our North American Groundhogs have predicted an early Spring.......yes, we listen to our Groundhogs to predict our Spring time........they are sometimes right!!
It has been an interesting winter in Canada this year.

Some examples:
Victoria and Vancouver who can pretty much paddle all year round have had to shovel snow out of their dragon boats.....but did that stop them from practicing........OH NO! 
Ontario has been milder with much less snow than normal and most of us could have been paddling all winter except for the record high water levels in the Great Lakes.
Newfoundland had record snowfall that shut down the province for more than a week.

Many of us are in the gym doing our winter work outs, in paddling pools, running inside or outside in the snow, skiing, skating, cross training.

Some teams are still dragon boat racing....yes, even in the winter.........ICE Dragon Boat Festivals!!! heard that Canadian's are a hardy bunch and we'll find any way to "paddle". See the picture below. 

Many of the teams are preparing for Training Camps in warmer climates.

BUT we all are preparing for our boats to be on our water to start training because Spring will be here soon! YEAH!!!

Honestly, it doesn't matter where you live in Canada, we truly enjoy our 4 seasons and doing lots of indoor and outdoor sporting activities....just get outside and do something healthy!

High Performance Coaching - COREBCS Crews - Are you Ready to Compete at the Club Crew World Championships (CCWC), 
Aug 24-30, 2020 in Aix-Les-Bains, France??
Last time we talked about is that going? Need any help? Need any motivation? 
Are you LOVING it yet??
This time CORE, CORE and more CORE!!!

As a Registered Nurse who works with Orthopaedic Trauma and Spine patients, I have been 
teaching about the importance of core muscles for years. It is important after a major injury and it is vitally important as a preventative to ensure overall physical health. But, for us paddlers, a strong core can greatly improve your stroke. Your abs should be engaged for each and every stroke. 

The abdominal muscles are located between your ribs and your pelvis in the front of your body and they support the trunk, allow movement and hold your organs in place by regulating internal abdominal pressure. Think of your core as a strong column that links your upper and lower body together. Having a solid core creates the foundation of your paddling stroke. All of our movements 
are powered by our core.  Your core muscles keep your body stable and balanced and protect your spine.

Okay....enough with the anatomy lesson.........How to you strengthen your Core??

There are many ways to do this and your core should be engaged with every exercise that you do!
Specific exercises:
Plank, Side Plank, Bicycle, Russian Twist, V-Sit, Superman (or woman), Bird Dog and so many more!
If you want to challenge yourself.......try some of these exercises on a Bosu Ball or a Stability Ball.
You can work on your Core muscles most days. 

A strong core does not happen overnight but we have about 6 months to work on is NEVER  too late!

Now, the MOST important part that I am going to say again..... in order for your BCS Crew to be successful at participating in Club Crew World Championships, you need to ensure that your ENTIRE Team is good with all the decisions that are made and the lines of communication remain open. Involve your entire team, make everyone feel like they are part of this process and make it fun for  everyone because at the end of the day......everyone wants to be fit and healthy!

It has been a pleasure talking to some BCS teams from around the World. 
Keep your questions coming, if you have questions......ask...... I'm sure other teams have the same question and I would be happy to help. 
Contact me at 
Linda Kuska
21 year Breast Cancer Survivor and Paddler
London, Ontario, Canada

Spanish Teams update.
Cecilia Picchi has sent us this quick update from last years events in Spain.

Cecilia and Maxi have also prepared a map of Spanish teams to give you all an idea where the teams are located. Map

They are both very happy with the growth of the Spainish breast cancer teams. Maxi started by introducing herself to the newbies, and said that we would all like to meet with them in New Zealand, so our European IBCPC directors will start to work with these new teams by explaining how they can become IBCPC members.

Maxi writes: I am so happy that Jan Collins dream is a reality. At that first time during the Dublin Festival, when I discussed with Jan about
Spain, we were doubtful due to the reticence of the Spanish ladies to publicly disclose their oncological experience. Now there are 11 teams and 2 others are in a creation. This highlights the importance of involvement, perseverance in presenting the benefits of our practice, because we find that every time we break the wall of reticence, women share a world of rehabilitation through socialization, fun and sharing a common past that together is more lightly lived.

The recent European EDBF championship in Seville led to the involvement of new teams in this city area: Seville, Malaga and Cadige teams.

We want to extend a warm welcome to all the new Spanish teams and hope that soon the friendship will become even tighter by them becoming members of the IBCPC and that they can share with us the magnificent experience that is being prepared in New Zealand 2022.