As many of us know, dragon boat paddling is an amazing sport. If you have been lucky enough to see a Breast Cancer Survivors’ team, you know how impressive the paddlers are.
In 2014, I had the opportunity to volunteer for four days at the IBCPC International Breast Cancer Festival in Sarasota, Florida. I met teams from all over the world as I worked on the docks helping load and unload the boats. I even got to steer a practice for an Italian team. The next IBCPC international event will be in 2018 in Florence, Italy. I highly suggest you get involved in some way, if possible. Most of us won’t be able to volunteer at the actual event, but you can get involved with your local BCS team. Offer to help steer or coach a practice or two, help with boat maintenance, offer to design a new logo or jersey, have a bake sale, host a fund-raiser. Tap into your own talents and donate your time or money to your local BCS team, especially if they are planning to go to Florence to race!
In 2010, the IBCPC International Breast Cancer Festival was held in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The Miami-based Breast Cancer Survivors’ Team that I have had the fortune of coaching for the past year, Save Our Sisters (SOS), attended the race in Peterborough. Shirley Ravachi, an SOS paddler and avid film-maker, created a film focused on SOS’s journey to Peterborough. The film is a wonderful celebration of their focus, perseverance, determination and love of the sport. Although this was over 5 years ago, their passion and dedication has not waned one bit. When I began coaching the team last January, I was immediately struck by the emotional, spiritual and mental strength of the women of SOS.
Take a moment to watch this video: Conquering The Dragon: Breast Cancer Survivors Race for Life. If you are a member of a BCS team, or know someone who is, you just might see yourself or someone you know!
Thanks to Shirley Ravachi for permission to use the video.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Kristin Stickels is a three-time Team USA member of the US National Dragon Boat Racing Team. She is the coach of the Miami team Puff, the Florida Tarpons women's team and the local Breast Cancer Survivors' Team (SOS).
She is also an avid outrigger canoe paddler and raced through the Panama Canal on a native cayuco boat from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Found out more about Hornet paddles at www.hornetwatersports.com