Meri Gibson, IBCPC Global President.
As I write this letter the winter is coming to an end in the southern hemisphere and the summer is coming to an end in the northern hemisphere as we both head towards either spring or fall. The weather has been crazy wherever you are, extreme heat and extreme cold. Let’s hope it is more settled as we roll on into our respective seasons.
I have just returned from the IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Pattaya, Thailand what a fantastic adventure that was. I was lucky enough to go as the Chef de Mission for the New Zealand Team/Black Dragons campaign, the biggest campaign of paddlers we have taken to date and the most successful campaign for us.
It was brilliant to have breast-cancer paddlers in the NZ squad competing at this high level. Whilst in Thailand I also met several of our breast cancer survivor paddlers who were paddling in their country’s teams either across the various age categories or in the case of Melissa Adams from Phoenix Desert Dragons paddling with the Para Dragons crew from the United States. Not only was she with the PD1 crew, but she was also with the PD2 crew, in back-to-back racing. Melissa must have been exhausted, but every time I saw her, she was still smiling. You can read more about her adventures and experiences further in this newsletter.
IBCPC most enthusiastically champions inclusion and participation, but for those paddlers who chose to be competitive there are amazing pathways for them in this sport. It was such an honour for me to place medals around the necks of the survivors who paddled with such tenacity to reach the podium.
At the IBCPC Board level we have the capacity to co-opt additional board members and it therefore gives me great pleasure to welcome to the IBCPC board two new board members. Joining us will be Louise Granahan from Canada as Communications Director and Annette Johnson from the United States as marketing director. It will be fantastic to have Louise and Annette working with us, both will be directors at large. Their biographies will be on the IBCPC website in due course. I am also pleased to advise that although Betty Solley resigned from the board, allowing space for a new member to join us, she has agreed to continue as Regional Coordinator for the USA and Caribbean.
Wishing you the very best for the coming months, and whether your season is beginning or ending enjoy what lies ahead.
Enjoy reading this very full newsletter and we look forward to either hearing from you or seeing you somewhere in person in the coming months.