Letter from the President

Hello to you all from New Zealand,

I don’t even know where to start to talk about what has been on our minds constantly for the last 9 or so weeks.

What a changing world we live in.

On a daily basis, I receive so many emails from so many of you, literally hundreds over the last weeks telling me about your personal experiences. I am in contact with so many of you from every corner of the globe. This is not the time for politics or grandstanding by politicians and organisational leaders, it is a time of caring for each other, holding your families close, staying well and staying safe.

My very first conversation about COVID-19 was with our National Representative to China, Beirong (Bei) Xiong while she was in China visiting her elderly mother over Chinese New Year. Bei told me of her immediate isolation lockdown and the need to extend her stay by two weeks while in isolation and then her further two weeks isolation on her return to Ottawa, Canada. Throughout Bei maintained high spirits and thought not just of her family but also of her much loved newly formed Dragon Sisters teams. Her article of how she set them up with a virtual training programme while isolated is quite inspiring. 

We feel deeply for all of our paddlers, wherever they are. I have spoken in depth with many paddlers from Italy and feel their pain immensely. Our own Vice President Lucia de Ranieri has been in lockdown for some weeks now while she cares for her elderly parents. Lucia keeps us informed of the realities of what is happening in Italy on a daily basis. I have been heartened by the contact from Italian teams who, despite this incredibly difficult time, are super excited about the prospect of registering for the festival in NZ in 2022. 

The NZ 2022 festival committee in agreement with the IBCPC Future Festivals Committee has made the decision to delay the opening of the festival registration by two months until 1st June 2022. Whilst we know that some of you will be disappointed by this, we also feel this is the right course of action at this time. The festival partners are all confirmed and in place and excitedly awaiting the opening. Tourism and travel will have been one of the major business fatalities globally of this virus, so it will be great when the registration opens for us to play a part in that global financial recovery. 

Please find below a link to the podcast “Behind the Pink Ribbon”, hosted by Melissa Adams. Melissa is a breast cancer paddler and Hornet paddle ambassador living in Arizona. Melissa formerly paddled with Pink Steel, Pittsburgh. This session is with Dr Don McKenzie. It is a great episode and I’m sure that the BCS community will find value in it. 

The episode can be found here.

We have kept this newsletter short so that the information is relevant and up to date, rather than months old. 

So, as we head into autumn (fall) and the days get a little cooler, but still with beautiful, blue sky, sunny days, we wish you all the very best.

Stay well, stay safe and take good care of each other.

All the very best

Meri xx


The IBCPC is an international organisation whose mandate is to encourage the establishment of breast cancer dragon boat teams, within the framework of participation and inclusiveness.


Address: PO Box 319, Christchurch 8140 New Zealand

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