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To read IBCPC Articles related to the Sarasota Festival go to Sarasota 2014, Articles, on the navigation bar above.

Welcome to the International Breast Cancer Paddlers' Commission

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. We support the development of recreational dragon boat paddling as a contribution to a healthy life style for those diagnosed with breast cancer.

As the breast cancer dragon boat movement grows internationally, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the disease and about life after breast cancer. We know a full and and active life is possible. The IBCPC was created to spread this message.
Together we are stronger, our voices are louder and the message is clearer.

Being part of the IBCPC provides breast cancer survivors with the opportunity to network with international teams. This enables the teams to share information, receive regular newsletters and updates, and also to share best practices with other teams and to interact with fellow paddlers around the world.

New - The 2014/15 IBCPC Steering Committee has been elected by acclamation effective August 2014 and will hold office until the next Congress. Check out the bottom of the front page of the September 2014 IBCPC Newsletter for the full announcement. To see the Steering Committee bios, go to the navigation bar, IBCPC People, and click on the Steering Committee sub-folder.

The next IBCPC International Festival is in Sarasota, Florida.

Sarasota Logo Introductory Video

Click here for the schedule for transportation to IBCPC Congress at Hyatt Regency Friday, October 24.
Important final Second Congress reminder

The next international festival will be held in 2014 in the charming city of Sarasota, located in west central Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. With its sunshine, warm temperatures and friendly ambiance, it will be an outstanding location for our celebrations. The IBCPC will ensure that Sarasota 2014, and other international festivals continue to promote participation and inclusiveness.
Mark your calendars for Friday October 24th to Sunday October 26th, 2014.

Click here for a full description of the exciting program of events at the Sarasota Festival.

Background to Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Paddling

Dr. Don McKenzieBreast cancer survivor dragon boat paddling began at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada in 1996. Dr. Don McKenzie, a Professor in the Department of Sports Medicine and exercise physiologist challenged the prevailing medical thinking that women treated for breast cancer should avoid rigorous upper body exercise for fear of developing lymphoedema, a debilitating and chronic side effect of treatment.

He developed a programme to determine the impact of exercise on breast cancer survivors, choosing dragon boat paddling as the epitome of strenuous, repetitive upper body exercise. He trained twenty four breast cancer volunteers in a gym for three months, introduced them to dragon boats and taught them paddling techniques. At the end of the three month season on the water none of the volunteers had lymphoedema.

While Dr. McKenzie’s medical experiment/project was complete, the women found they were fitter, healthier and happier. They loved the camaraderie and support of their fellow paddlers and had regained control of their lives. They realised that dragon boat paddling could become a means to raise awareness of breast cancer and of the ability of survivors to lead normal lives. They named their team ‘Abreast In A Boat’ and invited other survivors to share their exciting experience.

Peterborough international Festival 2010 Flowers on the water.Over the years the movement progressed to other areas in Canada and was introduced to other countries by breast cancer survivors who saw the benefit for survivors. These inspirational individuals started communicating across the miles, providing much support and encouragement to see other survivors reap the benefit of dragon boating and the health and fitness benefits it provided. Special mention should be made also to the amazing awareness made to the public on breast cancer.

Since 1996, as more and more interest came about we saw representatives from different countries joining together to paddle together in different places including Canada, Australia, Italy, Penang, New Zealand, Singapore, Poland and the United States. In 2005 a celebration of the start of Abreast In A Boat occurred in Vancouver, Canada – an international event with over 2000 breast cancer survivors from around the world. Following this festival Australia hosted ‘Abreast in Australia’ in 2007, and more recently Peterborough, Canada in 2010 (both of which had over 2000 participants). Each festival provided breast cancer survivors with the opportunity to network, attend workshops, paddle and celebrate life! The next international festival will be will be held in Sarasota in 2014.

During this time it became apparent that we need to ensure international festivals continue to promote participation and inclusiveness – this is where the IBCPC comes in.

Click here to read a message from our President, Jane Frost. 

Peterborough International Festival 2010


Latest Sarasota 2014
Bulletin #11

Latest IBCPC Newsletter
September, 2014

How to Start a Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Team

IBCPC Steering, April 2014

Pan Am Dragon Boat Paddling & Steering Clinics 2014.
In the U.S.

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Video. Internationally Abreast's Jubilee Pageant


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