‘Rowing for Life’ is an active rehab support program for women recovering from breast cancer. Groups of women go out paddling in dragon boats together, once or twice a week. The program operates year around, and includes participation in dragon festivals and competitions.
Researches around the world proved the effectiveness of dragon boat paddling in rehab, and in improving participants’ condition in numerous parameters, including physical, mental, functional and emotional. Similar programs work in Canada, Australia, USA, New Zealand, France, Italy & more.
The participants testify the huge importance of the program, as part of their recovery and rehab process, as a circle of social support, and in improving their well-being.
In 1996 a Canadian doctor led a research which proved that exercise of upper body benefits women who’ve had a lymph node removed, following lumpectomy. In particular, such supersize helps in the prevention of lymphedema (read more). Dr. McKenzie established and monitored groups of patients training in Dragon Boats paddling. Another research in Britain confirmed in 2008 these positive results (read more). Following these and other researches, there are today over 100 dragon boat teams of women recovering from breast cancer worldwide.
You do not need to be sporty or fit to start paddling with Pool of Life. We welcome paddlers of all ages, shapes and sizes. All we ask is that you have completed your breast cancer treatment at least 3 months ago and that you have no medical reasons why you should not take up paddling (check with your doctor if unsure). You can train at a level that suits you.
You do not have to be able to swim as you will be provided with a buoyancy aid (BA) to wear in the boat. You will be allocated a BA of appropriate size and shown how to fit this properly.
Dragon-boating is a water sport and you may get wet (from paddle actions in the boat or from the rain). We have shower and changing facilities for you to change into dry clothes afterwards, if needed.
Wear light and comfortable clothes and sports shoes, and have a complete change of clothes with you – this is a water sport and you may get wet! You will get hot when exercising, so a thick fleece is not recommended, nor is denim. Jewellery should not to be worn when paddling.
Friends and family are an important part of your support network and are welcome to paddle with us. However, once you feel confident with what to expect, you might want to come on your own as this will help you to get to know everyone and feel part of the group more quickly.
There are up to 11 participants in each boat. The action is guided by a qualified nautical instructor. 1-2 training sessions per week, 1 hour each.
If you’ve been hit by breast cancer, please consider contacting us. You can try it for free.
If you know others who may benefit from this program, please spread the word!