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News Archive 2008

The following article is from the Winter 2008 copy of Insight, the Health and Wellbeing staff magazine of the Sheffield Hallam University.


Sunday 7th December 2008 It might have been a grey misty cold day at Windermere, but inside the Low Wood Hotel
the atmosphere was fantastic. 47 members and supporters gathered for our first Christmas lunch and it was delicious,
to think just 11 short months ago the inaugural meeting of Paddlers for Life took place in the same venue,
how far we have come, and the journey has only just begun.

Photo's coming soon.

Sunday 16th November 2008 The first annual general meeting of Paddlers for Life took place at the village hall Abbystead,
the well attended meeting was followed by a delicious Jacob's joint buffet ( thank you everyone!) and then a walk
in the glorious countyside around Abbeystead.

A report of the meeting will appear shortly.

agm recieving cake

Members attend the AGM at Abbeystead -and a special cake for the occassion.


and after the buffet - a healthy walk, conducted by Harry and
Elaine Balderson around their beautiful village of Abbeystead.

Sunday 19th October 2008 It might have been wet and wild at the Low Wood Marina but we still paddled, and thanks to
a tremendous efforts by June Baker and Stacey Donnelly , Paddlers for Life received donations of over £800 following the
LythamDragon Boat Festival and the Great Swim respectively.


Here we see the Chairman Sue Cogley and Treasurer Christine Robinson receiving a cheque from June Baker.

Monday 6th October 2008 The Channel 4 Television programme The Great North Swim gives an excellent account
of the day at the Low Wood Hotel marina. With a special cameo feature showing Paddlers for Life in action.
Although the Channel 4 program can no longer be seen via 'on demand', it is still being seen worldwide after
channel 4 television sucessfully sold the rights to many countries.

Sunday 28th September 2008 - Lytham Round Table Dragon boat Festival.

What a fantastic day, it is difficult to believe that we were able to enter two full crews into this event after only
5 months on the water. In all 21 crews enterd the event, for Paddlers for Life there was Artemis Diana survivors crew
and Lucy at Low Wood supporters crew, we were also very happy to have with us the NHS 'Oarsome' crew which used
Lucy at Low Wood.All three crews reached the semi finals, unfortunately the survivors met the supporters in the semi finals!

The supporters won their semi final and went on to collect runners up medal in the final.

But the day was about fun and friendships, not medals, let the photos' of the day do the talking!



Paddlers for Life Survivors Crew.


two crews

Our Two Crews together, Survivors and Supporters.


The NHS 'Oarsome' Crew

Lots more photo's of the event here Lytham Round Table Dragon Boat Festival

If you would a 5x7 mounted print of any of the photographs (£2.50) please contact


Sunday 21st September 2008 - We had a great turnout for the final Sunday practice before the Lytham event, 43 paddlers in all.

final practice

Three Crews from our Low Wood Marina base will be competing in the Lytham Event - so good luck to everyone.

Paddlers for Life Survivors Team in Artemis Diana - June,Harry,Louisa,Fran,Sue,Muku,Gaynor,Ann



Paddlers for Life Supporters Crew in Lucy at Low Wood -Elaine,Megan,Dietmar,Paul,Jane,Tom,Peter



Oarsome comprising members from

NHS North Lancashire (formally NLTPCT),

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay

St John's Hospice Lancaster.




Photo's from the final Sunday practice can be viewed here, thanks to Karl Wycherly.

Great North Swim

On the 13th September 2008 our home, the Low Wood Marina became the venue for the first Great Swim,
and Great it was with over 2000 swimmers, including Olympians and celebrities,and thousands of spectators.
Television and radio coverage took place (programme to be screened on Channel 4 television early October.)

Paddlers for Life are full of admiration for all the swimmers who completed the 1 mile course,
but are particularly proud of the swimmers show below as they all raised funds for our Charity.


From left to right Matt (Low Wood Marina) **Barbara Daniel & Roger Butterfield** Stacey Donnelly** Robert Parker
Thanks to our extensive team of photographers Harry Balderson, Karl Wycherly, David McPartland and David Robinson.

See more photographs from the event here.


Preparations are well advanced for our Inaugural Competitive Event, our two boats, one crewed
by survivors and one by supporters will take part in the Lytham Round Table Dragon Boat Festival on the 28th September 2008.
The Survivors boat will be sponsored by the North Lancashire Primary Care Trust.

See our venue through the Low Wood Watersports Center webcam

Low Wood Webcam

It's good to watch but there's nothing like being there!

Dr Helen Crank Senior Research Fellow visited North Lancashire NHS Primary Care Trust on Thursday 21st August 2008
to receive the research bursary from the research and development unit.

The following commendation was made during the presentation -

"The North Lancashire Teaching Primary Care Trust and Development Bursary Panel were highly favourable of this proposal,
considering it a highly interesting and innovative piece of research that has the potential to improve health outcomes in the community."

More details of Dr Helen Crank's work can be found in articles on the Past News page.


29th August 2008 The World fire fighter Games Event was held in Liverpool, local fire fighters have been using the
facilities of Paddlers for Life
at Low Wood Marina for training, the photograph below shows
the only all woman team in action at Liverpool Docks,
on stroke is the Chairman of Paddlers for Life Sue Cogley.

Dr Helen Crank Senior Research Fellow visited North Lancashire NHS Primary Care Trust on Thursday 21st August 2008
to receive the research bursary from the research and development unit.

3rd August 2008 Another great day at our venue, the Low Wood Water Sports Center, as 45 paddlers took
to the water to take advantage of Three River Serpents member Keni Mayes excellent tuition, many thanks for her
enthusiasm and knowledge. Keni returns on the 31st August 2008 to offer further coaching.


30 July 2008 Dr Helen Crank of Sheffield Hallam University has been successfully in obtaining substantial funding from
NLTPCT 2008 Research Bursaries. This great news secures the ongoing research program being
carried out by Dr Crank and members of Paddlers for Life.

The research,which is now in it's second phase, involves the preparation and implementation of a training program for survivors,
together with weekly paddling in the Charities boats, followed by comprehensive monitoring of members of the study group.

The aim is to determine the effect of exercise, and Dragon Boating on Breast Cancer Survivors, in particular in relation to lymphoedema.

Paddlers for Life in Cumbria Life Magazine, 2 page article in current edition.

Friday 4th July 2008. A grueling but successful day was had by all.

Members of the Low Wood Marina staff and Paddlers for Life received instruction from Barbara, Rob and Frank of

the 4 Dragons Limited.


and thanks to their expert tuition and the superb group of members that paddled throughout the day, seven awards of

Basic Helm PLS1 were granted.

4dragonat lowwood

Tired but happy paddlers with Barbara, Rob and Frank from 4 Dragons Limited .

Paddlers for Life article in August edition of Cumbria Life Magazine- on sale soon.

The following articles featured in the British Lymphology Society publication BLS News & Views ,May/June Issue.
They give details of the Paddles for Life Seminar and Launch together with more information on the research
that our Charity is involved with regarding lymphoedema.

Sue Cogley - Chairperson Paddlers for Life






The Dotting of the Eyes Ceremony took place on the 8th June 2008,
and was a tremendous success, our sincere thanks go to
Mr Alan Seatwo, Chairman of the Liverpool Pagoda Chinese Community Center.

Mr Alan Seatwo

To view photo's of the day click here

A NEW video of the day will be available shortly.


Sunday May 25th at 10.30am Low Wood Marina, Windermere - we were all delighted by the sight
of our newly painted head for the yellow boat.

What do you think of it? A special thanks to Suzanne for the artwork.

painted head

You can see what our Paddlers think!




Saturday May 17th - Paddlers for Life were delighted to welcome two Canadian Paddlers,
Jane Frost and Carol Dale, original members of Abreast In A Boat, Vancouver.

Jane and Carol are representing the International Pink Dragon Boat Commission [IPDBC]
and are panel members for the selection of a 2010 venue. In addition Jane and Carol
were both members of the original study, carried out by Professor Don McKenzie MD PHD (see 'about us'),
so we had plenty to talk about as members of Paddlers for Life are currently undergoing
a repeat of the study, this being undertaken by Dr Helen Crank of Sheffield University.

Jane and Carol also took the opportunity of joining us in one of our boats.

Sue Cogley, Chairperson, Paddlers for Life, with Paul (Low Wood Marina), Carol Dale and

Jane Frost.



26th January 2008 . Inaugural seminar held at Low Wood Hotel tremendous success

- full report and pictures here.

5th January 2008

Members of the Charity met at the Low Wood Hotel, on the banks of Lake Windermere,
to put the finishing touches to the Paddlers for Life Launch Seminar to be held on the 26th of this month.

The speakers have now been selected and the final programme agreed, a full report of the day,
with video footage will appear on this web site soon after the event.

Meanwhile a here are couple of photographs of members, braving a winters day outside the venue of the charity.



November 2007

November 8th 2007 . Paddlers for Life granted registered charity status by the Charity Commission. Registered number 1121539


October 13th - 14th.    We presented a  stand at the Cumbria Life Woman Festival, held at the Rheged Centre, Penrith.  
The two days at Rheged has been well spent resulting in some useful contacts, recruitment to the team and not least of all,
positive health promotion messages on breast care awareness. A great time had by all!  

October 2007

Extract from Issue 11 of 'The Trading Pulse' - a Lancaster University Magazine.

The dragon spirit is alive and well. 'Paddlers for Life' is the name finally chosen for the Cumbria and Lancashire Dragon Boat Team
made up mostly, but not exclusively, of breast cancer survivors. Family and friends are also an important part
with partners and children sharing friendship and camaraderie.

It's all hands on deck to create a logo that represents what we are about and, most importantly, where we are to be located,
on the shores of Lake Windermere. We need a quirky strap line too! 2008 is going to be our year!

A small, but dedicated group of women are continuing in their efforts to plan for a launch day in January 2008,
generously hosted by the English Lakes Hotel Group. Until we hear from the Charity Commission about our application,
there remains the small matter of obtaining a dragon boat and equipment. A successful proposal to a national charity means
that a boat should be resting upon the lake shore ready for our first paddling season in the spring.

By this time , valued support of the University Sports Centre in the form of a dry training programme,
will prepare the 'pink ladies' with fitness levels, technical skills and confidence to grace the Cumbrian waters in our beautifully dressed dragon boat.

A warm invitation goes out to all who may be inspired to join us so that Paddlers for Life can go
from strength to strength whilst providing fun, fitness and friendship.

"I am a newcomer to this sport(and all sports for the past 30 years!) but this has made me feel alive and like I can conquer almost anything"

Louisa Balderson.



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