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News Archive 2011
Paddlers for Life have published their first set of postcards.

The postcard images have been selected by the writing group from photos taken by members. The writing group have jointly composed haikus as part of a collaborative writing project. The poems relate the feelings of some paddlers over their paddling year.

Glitzy Dinner, November 2011.

A lovely meal was enjoyed by paddling guests of Sylvia Emmott, Chair of SLDC, at Kendal College
on Thursday 10th. November
at a second 'Glitzy Dinner'. During her year as Mayor she has worked tirelessly to promote Paddlers for Life and raise significant funds towards the purchase of a replacement dragon boat.

'Wear It Pink' breast cancer awareness and fund-raising event.

There was friendly rivalry to end the paddling season.
Staff from English Lakes Hotels tried their hand at dragon boat paddling thanks to Paddlers for Life
along with paddling visitors from Devon.
Peter trained novice paddlers and Chris helmed the second boat.
Three teams were created, a hotel staff team, a Paddlers for Life team and a mixed team.

Each team had two chances to race over a 200m sprint distance across Low Wood Bay.

Times ranged consistently between 1 minute 39 seconds and 1 minute 25 seconds.
The English Lakes Hotel staff team just managed the best time by the narrowest margin of 0.1 seconds.

Thanks to Paul for organising and managing the event and the hotel for providing wonderful hospitality.
Thanks to Sue for organising the teams and races.

Well done everyone else for making the event such fun.

More photos here.

Keni visited to give another great coaching session.
We also had visitors from 'Pool of Life' in Liverpool

A good turn-out of paddlers enjoyed a great coaching session.
As usual Keni challenged paddlers to develop their skills and stamina with her usual light-hearted but determined style.
Paddlers responded in enjoyable paddling sessions in which they enhanced their skills and pushed themselves to achieve more before finishing with a couple of challenges and a 'tug-of-war'.

In the afternoon session Alwyn and Dietmar practised their helming skills as paddlers took the dragon boat up to
Wateredge Inn at Ambleside for a well deserved hot drink. Two wonderful, energetic paddling sessions.

More photos here.

October 9th. 2011
Rain stops play! Well the wind actually!

Well we were warned the weather was looking marginal to paddle.
Rain forecast, winds from the west 20 mph and increasing in the afternoon, gusts to 43 mph.

Check the webcam, looking okay, weather station shows low wind speed and low gust speed.
A calm and largely rain free journey up from the south until Troutbeck when it starts raining!!

A few keen paddlers have arrived. It is raining and the windsock often swings to the horizontal.
The water sports centre is almost deserted as is Windermere.
Some waves have whitecaps. Peter will helm but we can't quite muster the twelve paddlers needed.
Plan B re-group for coffee!
Two hours later the rain has stopped and the wind has calmed.
But most paddlers have gone home.
Oh the frustrations of the Windermere micro climate!!
dragon boats on their trailer
Thanks Peter and Sue for making that long journey for a chance to paddle.
Thanks to all those other optimists who thought to try for a paddle against the odds.
Click the image above for a taste of the day.

Which meant the dragon boats had to stay on the trailer.

Paddlers for Life Scotland SE have paddled their new boat. 2nd. October, 2011

Andrina and Guthrie send these pictures of their first paddle at Port Edgar last week.
Guthrie helmed the boat today and Andrina had a turn at helming also.
Meanwhile at Windermere Roz and Sue shared the helming in relatively calm conditions and everyone had a great morning paddling.
Great to have all these new Paddlers for Life helms developing their expertise across the UK.

Paddlers for Life members have had a busy weekend of paddling.

On Saturday Peter trained several helms taking them through some theoretical work covering safety and other aspects of helming. Trainee helms then took turns at helming under Peter's tuition. They manouvered the boat to and from the jetty and completed other exercises to steer the dragon boats in different circumstances.

All this took place on a wet morning but the weather brightened later and the sun came out as they were finishing.

On Sunday Diet, Sue, Louisa and Alwyn made the most of the dry weather and calmer winds to practice their helming skills.
As the wind picked up later in the day paddlers enjoyed a workout of power building and race start set pieces.
Meanwhile Barbara and Steve were out in the support boat as the trainee helms practised.

Marvellous News!
Paddlers for Life Scotland SE have taken delivery of their new dragon boat.

Andrina and her fellow paddlers and supporters have worked hard for this moment.
Their new dragon boat looks gorgeous!

Many paddlers at Windermere have visited and paddled at Port Edgar, a warm welcome and a great paddling experience near the Forth Bridge. We are all so pleased for them.

Andrina says...
" After much labour Paddlers for Life at Port Edgar today were safely and joyously delivered their pink boat - a very pink boat. It was both nerve racking and exciting "

They have buoyancy aids and are awaiting paddles hoping for their first boat launch and paddle soon

A special birthday. Saturday 3rd. September.

Hazel, one of our founding paddlers, shared a special birthday with fellow paddlers. She put on a splendid party and Ceilidh at Grange-over-Sands.

The dancing and the food were great and everyone clearly had a wonderful evening. Can you guess what present paddlers gave to Hazel?

More photos here.

Flowers on the water ceremony
Paddlers for Life held a flowers on the water ceremony in memory of Jeanette who was one of the first cancer survivors to take up dragon boat paddling in this country.

Members who paddled in Liverpool with Pool of Life recalled Jeanette with fondness. She loved paddling and always wished to paddle on Windermere.

Members of her family joined us for the ceremony.
On a calm Windermere, after the sunshine cleared the mist, paddlers also remembered other loved family members and friends whose lives have been cut short by cancer.

More photos here.

Safety Boat Training Awards
Harry, Rob and Nick received certificates following their successful completion of the RYA Safety Boat training.
The training took place over two evening sessions in August at Low Wood Marina
supervised by Paul and Gary in a series of wide-ranging rescue scenarios.
The training was supported by a grant from MacMillan Cancer Support.

Several Paddlers for Life members now have Level 2 Power Boat training
as well as the three members who now have Safety Boat qualifications.

Sunday, August 28th., 2011
One of those rare sundays when paddling was cancelled due to strong wind gusts coming from the NW into the bay.

This is what it looked like!

Another evening paddle welcomed Mary Smith and Al who many members will remember from Lakefield in Canada.

On arrival Low Wood Bay looked like this.
By the time we were paddling it looked like this.
Lynn, Elaine, Nick, Alwyn, Steph, Fran, Sue P-J, John, Louisa, Sue, Mary, Al and Peter enjoyed the view while we paddled.

Mary Smith, Reeve for the Township of Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield, and husband Al
met Sylvia Emmott, Chair of SLDC.
Mary Smith and Al ready to paddle.
Sylvia Emmott and Mary Smith compare notes.

A reporter from BBC Cumbria spent some time with Paddlers for Life on Sunday 21st. August.

Louisa, Sue and Jenny were all interviewed about breast cancer dragon boat paddling.

Paddlers for Life welcomed Jenny Yule from Vancouver, Canada.
Jenny is the Secretary-Treasurer of the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission.
This international organisation raises awareness about the role of dragon boating
to celebrate life after a diagnosis of and treatment for breast cancer.
Louisa is a fellow committee member and Jenny's visit to the UK is an opportunity for a face to face meeting, a pleasant change from the trans-Atlantic video conference. More photos here.

Safety Boat Exercise for a dragon boat swamping, August 2011
An interesting (enjoyable!) dip in Windermere.

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Paddlers took advantage of warm 19°C water in Windermere to experience what it might be like if the dragon boat was swamped by water.

Paul briefed paddlers about what to do and what might happen!

Twenty-one willing volunteers loaded into Lucy armed with balers and paddles and took her about 100m off shore.

Paddlers braced the boat with paddles and then started to bale water into the boat.

There was some nervousness about if the boat would capsize or just settle under the water.

Two safety boats were out with Harry and Rob in the Paddlers for Life safety boat and Paul in the Low Wood boat. The idea was to direct activities in order to plan safety procedures and rescue.

Through careful control the boat was swamped without a capsize.
Paddlers learned how to exit the boat, hang on to the side and re-enter. Some paddlers helped members return to the boat while others steadied the boat or baled water out. Some practiced swimming the boat towards the shore.
Eventually enough water was removed to try paddling the boat back. Some paddlers swam alongside and helped to beach the boat so other paddlers could disembark. Twenty-one paddlers returned to shore!

Wet suits at the ready.

Where's Lucy?

Swimming back with the dragon boat.

More photos here.

Thanks to all paddlers who participated and the staff at Low Wood Bay for their help with this informative exercise.
It helped refine safety procedures and remove anxiety for paddlers about the experience of sinking.

What a beautiful evening for Steph, Lynn, Alwyn, Nick, Rowena, Joyce, Alison, Eunice, Janet and Chris to paddle.

More visitors get a taste of dragon boating.

On a busy day of paddling, Paddlers for Life were visited by Furness Breast Cancer Support Group members and paddlers and supporters who are trying to set up a Paddlers for Life Manchester group. Peter, Tony and Chris took visitors through some basic paddling training and the experience of short races supported by regular paddlers.

There are more photos here.



Paddlers also wished two members 'Bon Voyage' as they set off on an extended tour of the antipodes. They take our love and best wishes with them and we look forward to welcoming them back to hear their news.

Safety Boat Training, August 2011

Harry, Rob and Nick have completed their safety boat training over evening sessions in August thanks to Paul and Gary at Low Wood Marina. The training included boat skills and retrieving people from the water. (Paul and Rob bravely volunteered to wear dry or wet suits!) Different methods of righting various sizes of sailing boats and wind surfers were practiced including a fully inverted masted dinghy. Also simulated were rescues of kayaks and canoes including an offshore anchoring and rescue in shallow water.
Towing exercises were undertaken and a problem solving multi-capsize scenario
challenged our intrepid safety boaters.

Now we are keen to test our skills with a dragon boat rescue!!!

Exercise, Cancer recovery and prevention. 8th. August 2011
Hear Sue's interview on BBC Radio Cumbria.

A report by Macmillan Cancer Support has suggested that cancer patients should get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. The charity explained that traditional advice for patients to rest while they received their treatment no longer held true.

The report, Move More, said 1.6 million cancer survivors in the UK were not getting enough exercise.
Research showed that doing exercise regularly helped reduce the side effects of cancer treatment such as tiredness and weight gain, and decreased the danger of death from the disease.

The report said: "The evidence review shows that physical exercise does not increase fatigue during treatment, and can in fact boost energy after treatment."

"It can also lower their chances of getting heart disease and osteoporosis. Also, doing recommended levels of physical activity may reduce the chance of dying from the disease. It may also help reduce the risk of the cancer coming back."

The report also highlighted earlier research that showed breast cancer patients who took the recommended amount of exercise reduced their risk of dying from the disease by 40%.

It also said that bowel cancer survivors could reduce their risk by 50%, and prostate cancer patients by 30%, if they exercised regularly.

Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "Cancer patients would be shocked Sue Cogley Chair of Paddlers for Lifeif they knew just how much of a benefit physical activity could have on their recovery and long term health, in some cases reducing their chances of having to go through the gruelling ordeal of treatment all over again.

"It doesn't need to be anything too strenuous, doing the gardening, going for a brisk walk or a swim, all count."

On August 8th. when this report was published to the media Sue Cogley from Paddlers for Life was interviewed by Neil Timms on BBC Radio Cumbria.
More news including Pink Champagne on Health News here on the BBC website.
More details on the forum.

Paddlers for Life Windermere offered opportunities to paddle their dragon boats as part of a
Community Spirit event at Brockhole Visitor Centre near Windermere.

Paddlers for Life took their two dragon boats to the nearby Brockhole Visitor Centre.
A few lucky members of the public got the chance to spend some time experiencing dragon boat paddling as part of a Community Spirit event.

Sue P-J organised the Paddlers for Life visit to the event.

Members of the public were given a safety briefing and some elementary paddling tips before entering the boats.

Peter, Chris, Tony and Sandra took the novice paddlers through some paddling development as well as fun paddling activities with the help of a regular team of paddlers.

Needless to say the novice paddles had a great time and were enthusiastic about their experiences.

Wednesday July 27th.
Power Boat refresher training.

A few paddlers refreshed their power boat skills on a beautiful evening. What a place to be on the water!

Helm practise, July 24th.
In beautiful sunshine...

On a glorious day for paddling Aly and Alwyn took the opportunity to develop their skills for helming the dragon boats as part of the Paddlers for Life helm training programme.

Meanwhile one visitor cooled down on a hot, sunny day sitting in the water...

... and the goddess looked down.

Paddlers assembled in unpromising weather on Sunday 17th. July.

Having had a wonderful day the previous Thursday the grey skies and drizzle must have discouraged some.

Over the next 45 minutes however keen paddlers arrived and numbers slowly increased until we had enough to nearly fill the dragon boat.
Chris helmed the boat confidently in fairly calm conditions and we went through some stamina building paddling, practice pyramids and
stroke technique drills before rehearsing race starts and finishing with a couple of race set pieces.
It was a good work out and an enjoyable morning of paddling with the rain staying away while we paddled.

Inspire Project visit Paddlers for Life, Thursday, 14th. July.

Charles Allen, CBE, Chair of the London 2012 Nations and Regions Group and LOCOG Board Member, visited Paddlers for Life.
Other visitors included other Inspire board members and members from South Lakeland District Council.

Inspire project, Paddlers for Life, in Windermere, is part of the Northwest Inspire Programme,
offering the experience of paddling a Dragon Boat as a form of exercise to help recovery and survival for breast cancer survivors.

Paddlers for Life had two boats on the water on a perfect day helped by some NHS paddlers.

The visitors arrived on time for the warm-up and three of them changed to paddle a dragon boat.
They had a chance to practice paddling, rehearse race starts and then participated in two races all helmed by David and Tony.
It was a wonderful day for everyone and must have impressed our visitors.

Paddlers finished with a paddle up to Waterhead for a well-earned treat and Aly competently practised her helming skills on the way back.
More photos here. Video here. Letter of Thanks from Charles Allen

Paddlers for Life quote: “The award of the London 2012 Inspire Mark is helping us to increase awareness of the importance of a
GB national breast cancer dragon boat paddling programme. From the start, Paddlers for Life wanted to inspire by creating
new opportunities at difficult times, when treatment for breast cancer finishes. Entirely made up of volunteers,
our message is to encourage individuals to discover feeling good through physical activity,
learn a new skill and re-build confidence to create a ‘new normal’ life.”

Here is the video report of an interview with Louisa after the visit by Inspire Committee members.

A new dragon boat design?

Is this a new dragon boat for Paddlers for Life?
Today we shared the jetty with part of the construction for the new Brockhole pier.
With David and Tony to helm it was lovely to have two nearly full dragon boats on the water.
Again we had the boats in the water promptly in calm weather.
The two boats ventured up to the northern end of Windermere and practised a few race starts and then raced before going through training pyramids and other paddling technique exercises.

For the afternoon session we were down to one boat and the wind had picked up.
Some stamina was needed paddling north against the wind and there were some interesting moments as waves and wake coincided.
An exciting moment as we shipped a little water as we returned to the jetty.
Thanks to all for another good day of paddling.

A good boatful of paddlers assembled on Sunday.

Windermere was calm and the skies were bright with sunshine.
Eager boat handlers soon had a dragon boat in the water fully dressed and
with David at the helm we were off with a full crew of twenty two.
We explored the north end of Windermere looking to escape from water skiers
and practice our paddling skills as Keni had coached us.
David took us through several training routines.
A few practice race starts and race set pieces put us through our paces.

The boat was put away as quickly as it was launched to end another perfect day of paddling.

A brilliant day of coaching. June. 2011.

We had another fantastic day of coaching thanks to Keni.
It was good to see two full dragon boats out on Windermere,
on a calm lake and a warm day with little rain.

Two great sessions reminded experienced paddlers how to improve their technique
and novice paddlers had a chance to learn the details of the stroke.

As always Keni made it hard work but great fun.
Just what we needed!

Great North One Mile Swim
A small number of Paddlers for Life paddlers participated in the Great North Swim on Saturday 18th. June
and Sunday 19th. June. The water was reasonably warm and the wind had quietened a little.
Well done those paddlers what a great personal achievement!

Solstice Race 12th. June, 2011

Solstice Day started with bright sunshine but forecast increasing cloud wind and rain towards the middle of the day. The wind was from the south which meant we paddled into the wind for more than ten miles, the length of Windermere.

Two expectant Paddlers for Life crews assembled and prepared the boats. Three River Serpents brought a boat and crew over from Durham. We paddled a couple of miles up to Waterhead ready to start at 11-00 am. Two experienced helms, Peter and Jane, took us through our paces over the next ten miles into a steady head wind and gathering cloud. Three River Serpents soon took off into the distance.

Crews paddled well with short rest turns eating away at the miles.

Two PfL paddlers tried a different form of transport for the Solstice Race this year.
Helen Single Kayak 1:45:07
, Jo Single Kayak 1:45:08

The head wind took its toll however. Serpents were the first dragon boat to finish in just over two hours. Half an hour slower than last year due to conditions. Lucy was the second dragon boat in about 2 hours and 24 minutes with Artemis in ten minutes later. These were two slower times because of the headwind but paddlers acquitted themselves well with high quality sustained paddling.

Three River Serpents 2:00:44
Paddlers For Life (Lucy) 2:24:10
Paddlers For Life (Artemis) 2:42:25

Well done everyone!

Just the long haul back with the safety boat towing the boats back to Low Wood Bay in steady rain. Thanks Rob, Matt, Peter and Nick!

Dotting The Eye Ceremony June 2011

Our dragons were awoken from their sleep today.
The ceremony is so that the dragons can watch over us and protect us.
Offerings of fruit and rice were made.
These offerings appease the spirits of the water and calm them in preparation for the paddling ahead.
Also offered was symbolic "Hell Money", bank notes from the Bank of Hell. The smoke from these burned notes goes to Heaven and appeases the Gods to ensure safety and good paddling.

Sheffield Weston Park Hospital Regatta. June 2011.

What a wonderful day for a team of Paddlers for life paddlers to gather along with 15 other teams for this regatta!
It is a great venue with good visibility of what was happening.
There were some strong teams of young, fit paddlers as well as some all male teams.
Heat 1 race. Our excitement at competing lead to a ragged start and a fast pace over a 150m sprint course caused us to lose timing.
Disappointment with our performance was evident among the crew and a time of over 56 seconds confirmed this.
Position at end of heat 1 races, eighth.

Heat 2 race. Tactic slower pace of start. Three long, strong pulls at a slower pace.
Timing was better and the team worked hard so we came in with a time of over 53 seconds, a three second improvement.
Position at end of heat 2 races, eighth.

Heat 3 race.
Same start and a bit of 'coaching' from the helm.
We needed sub 50 seconds to be in
with any chance of getting in the semis!
A better start and good pace with consistent timing raised our spirits. It felt a good race with everything going right.
We finished well ahead of the other two boats
But our time... over 56 seconds again.
So no semi -final race.
Our final position, eighth.
What consistency.
Still paddlers had a great day. Thanks Helen for organising our team and making a great day of paddling.

Unfortunately a second weekend in May with strong, gusty winds from the north west coupled with a low number of
, less than ten willing to defy and ride the waves, meant no paddling again this Sunday 29th. May.
Nevertheless our Dragon Heads got some tender care and minor re-painting ready for the eye-dotting
and Lucy got her new cover fitted so now lies snugly alongside Artemis Diana.

Paddlers met with Suzanne and her family to say 'Au revoir' as they move to the USA.

Suzanne has paddled with Paddlers for Life since its inception and has always been an enthusiastic participant as well as contributing her skills in many ways to support the group, raise its profile and build warm friendships with many members.
Paddlers for Life will certainly miss her but wish her well as she embarks on a new adventure in a new, exciting place. More here.

Paddlers for Life Windermere visit Paddlers for Life Scotland SE at Port Edgar, South Queensferry.
Our Dragon Boats get their first taste of seawater and a trip away from Windermere. May, 2011

Edinburgh May 2011

Matt, PhD Candidate from the University of Exeter, captures the broadest of experiences of breast cancer dragon boat paddling through a collaborative writing project, involving Paddlers for Life. Making links between attractive nature, the desire for group exercise, the healing qualities of ‘place’ and survivorship, Matt has written few words about his extraordinary visit to Edinburgh.  

I chatted to a fellow passenger at Dalmeny station. “Are you going Sailing”, he says? "No," I reply," Dragon Boating!" I walk under the huge bridges, imposing, and into Port Edgar. I meet Andrina in the hut, and she gives me a history of the Paddlers presence there, the connections and networks that have been forged. And then we go down to the waters edge. Many from Windermere are there, some having travelled up with the boats the day before, some that day. All are here to support the many people who have arrived to turn their hand to paddling, some for the first time. We paddle in the shelter of the marina, as the wind is up, and there are white horses on the waves further out into the firth. But the water here is great, salty and buoyant, and the boat flies! The history of the place adds to the panoramic views. The small island of Inchgarvie nestles under the modern bridges. It has been a leper colony and prisoner of war camp over the years, and apparently puffins dive and swim around it. After a ‘paddler’s lunch’ of soup and sandwiches, we time-trialed, Team B winning by just a few seconds. We cheered and sang, “Hey Edinburgh!”, but the real celebration was for the presence of dragons on the Forth today. Many congratulations to Andrina and all her team, a great day!

Matt, PhD Candidate, University of Exeter

Team members who helped out with a 'Come and Try' day near Edinburgh. Including Jane, Rob and Harry and Louisa who were busy taking photos etc.!
See more in the gallery here.

Some paddlers from Windermere visited Paddlers for Life Scotland SE to help with their 'Come and Try' Day.
Our Dragon Boats 'Artemis Diana' and 'Lucy' had their first trip out on their new trailer towed to Port Edgar Marina near Edinburgh
so that we could paddle in tidal sea water as the tide rose then ebbed.
Over twenty people had their first taste of Dragon Boating over seen by Guthrie's safety team and Ian taking his turn with helming. What a fantastic location to paddle! Click here to explore a panoramic view.

Hello to a new Paddlers for Life secretary at our recent general meeting.

Paddlers elected Ann as the new trustee and secretary for Paddlers for Life Windermere.
At the same time we all said a big 'Thank You' to Louisa, one of the founder members and trustees, who with a small group of people formed Paddlers for Life.
Louisa has stepped down as secretary in order to free up time to pursue other goals linked to Breast Cancer survivor Dragon Boat paddling.
Louisa, in return, acknowledged the support of fellow group founders and member paddlers who make Paddlers for Life such an enjoyable group to be part of.

Flowers on the Water for a fellow Paddlers for Life paddler. May 2011.

Paddlers took a moment on Sunday to remember friends, family and fellow paddlers who have faced cancer. Sadly a fellow Paddlers for Life paddler, Val, recently died from her cancer.
She was active with Paddlers for Life Wigan acting as secretary for the group
and visited us here at Windermere.
Our thoughts are with her family, friends and fellow paddlers. More Photos.

An exciting day of paddling on Sunday what with some blustery wind
and a visiting Sea King helicopter on the Low Wood Marina field.

Paddlers had a rare chance to see the Sea King helicopter 'up close and personal'.
Later when the helicopter left Low Wood we 'raced' them across the bay as they circled over us. Between the helicopter, ski wakes and some blustery waves it was an exciting day of paddling especially for the helms! More Photos.

Paddlers for Life Wigan have been busy with fund-raising and now they have raised enough to purchase a full-size Dragon Boat.

They have been paddling a smaller Dragon Boat on Scotsman's Flash, a local Wigan beauty spot.
Now they have raised enough funds to purchase a full size Dragon Boat of their own.
Well done everyone!
We look forward to the day when we can meet and race!

Paddlers for Life Scotland SW have also taken delivery of a full size Dragon Boat in time for a new season of paddling.

Congratulations Paddlers for Life Scotland SW.
How wonderful to see the fruition of all your hard work applying for funds, planning for and promoting paddling, raising the profile of Dragon Boat paddling for breast cancer survivors and fostering interest in a paddlers group.
Now you have taken delivery of your first boat and couldn't wait to try it out.

It looks splendid and so do you.
We are so pleased for you!

Photos © Paddlers for Life Scotland SW

Easter Sunday Barbecue and Egg Hunt

Yet another beautiful day for paddling with two boats on the water.
Paddlers also dined on a delicious Jacob's Join Barbecue with children of all ages enjoying an Egg Hunt.
More Photos.

Welcome to a new season of paddling with Paddlers for Life.

Lots of eager paddlers turned up to start our paddling season. The heads and tails had been spruced up with a lick of paint and Barbara had re-dressed the heads in her inimitable style.
They looked wonderful!
So on a fresh and breezy day two crews set out on a new season of paddling.
It didn't take long for experienced paddlers to re-establish the old patterns whilst newer paddlers had a chance to try out their skills.
Chris had his first chance to helm independently following his successful helm training and very accomplished he looked too.

Helm Training, March 26th. 2011.

Saturday was a hectic day of helm training. Peter and Sue organised a day of training with help from Jane and others. Paddlers visited from Scotland and several helms had the opportunity to complete the first part of helm training including people from Paddlers for Life Windermere and Paddlers for Life Scotland SW. They steered a figure of eight and brought the boat into the jetty among other tasks. It was a hard day's paddling with several sessions to paddle while helms gained their experience. Flagging energy levels were enlivened by a race to end the day. More photos in the Gallery here.

Glitzy Dinner with the Mayor. 25th. March, 2011.

Paddlers and other guests enjoyed a lovely 'Glitzy Dinner' with the Mayor at Kendal Town Hall on Friday 25th. March. Apart from an enjoyable occasion the purpose was to raise funds for Paddlers for Life and maybe help purchase a further boat. More photos in the Gallery here.

The last event of the winter programme before we start paddling again.

Wetherlam Walk, March 2011

Aly and Tony led a wonderful walk up onto Wetherlam in the Coniston Fells. At last the weather was good with some sunshine and reasonable temperatures for the time of year. As you can see there was a small party of four (plus two), probably because there was a paddling session the previous day. An interesting ascent and descent in a great landscape with panoramic views.

Here are some video memories of Peterborough International Dragon Boat Festival

Ingleton Walk, March 2011

Zoe and Jack led a lovely walk near Ingleborough.
A cold windy start turned to sunshine as we explored this lovely landscape. Eleven walkers were entertained with geology, ecology, landscape, local events, caves and limestone pavements by the walk leaders as we strolled across the countryside.
This was followed by an excellent pint and lovely food at the Hill Inn.
Click each image to see a larger version.

Coaching with the Three River Serpents in Durham. March 2011

Several paddlers from Windermere and Scotland willingly travelled to Durham to refresh and hone their paddling and skills ready for a new season of paddling. David helmed for us. On a busy day of coaching Keni took us through the elements of the stroke gradually building the challenge to work together synchronously, with power and efficiency whilst also working to build our stamina. We also practised race starts and short races on Saturday afternoon. The following day mixed Paddlers for Life and Three River Serpents crews raced each other in 'friendly' rivalry. More photos in the 2011 gallery.

Walk at Holme Fell, Langdale.

Aly and Tony led a walk in Langdale which included Holme Fell. Eight paddlers walked in steady rain through beautiful, rain soaked countryside to the summit of this low fell before crossing the valley to end up at Cathedral Cavern where we ate lunch before a short detour through some old mining tunnels. Spirits were high in spite of the weather. Well deserved drinks and cakes in Coniston were a fitting end to this enjoyable day. More photos.

Roz led another climbing session at Kendal Climbing Wall in February.
Seasoned climbers challenged themselves and novice climbers grew in confidence
as they tackled climbs of varying difficulty.

What may we see when we next paddle up to Waterhead?
Or even around the jetties at Low Wood! See here!

One of the many things that makes for the wonderful experience of paddling with Paddlers for Life is the beautiful environment around Windermere. We need to protect this fantastic Lake District location for everyone to enjoy. So a small group of paddlers went to Grizedale to add their voice toward the protection of around forty local woodlands and forests. The aim is to keep them in public ownership for everyone.

Paddlers for Life Networking Conference
Paddlers for Life Dragon Boats grace the front of the Lancaster House Hotel welcoming visiting paddlers to the Paddler for Life Networking Conference.

On Thursday 27th. January Paddlers for Life extended the hand of friendship to paddlers from across the UK and internationally.
The organisation was exemplary, the programme interesting and enlightening and the workshops well-planned.
A lot of hard work went into the planning, organisation and delivery of this conference and the hundred or so delegates who attended really enjoyed the event. Once again the committee of Paddlers for Life have raised the profile of Dragon Boat paddling for breast cancer survivors and spread the word wider to health professionals and other community interests.

A wall of 'thoughts' around advice about exercise, and experience of exercise in relation to breast cancer treatment.

The Coffee Morning in Silverdale was a great success.
A big thank you to all those who organised it and everyone else who gave their help and time.
Mags says "Our hard work paid off and we raised the magnificent sum of £1013:48p.
What an amazing amount - well done to everyone - a brilliant result!"

I never knew a Saturday in January could be so much fun!

Thanks to Paul, Paddlers for Life paddlers experienced a wonderful time at Kendal pool learning their safety procedures, buddying system and just getting to enjoy the water with confidence.
What an education it is being a member of Paddlers for Life!
This photo reminds me of something!
Did you ever see the film 'The Poseidon Adventure'?

More Photos of the Pool Session here.

A Dragon Boat trailer at last thanks to the efforts of Paul, Rob and Harry.

Paddlers for life has a 'new' trailer!
Paul and Rob collected it from down in Northamptonshire.
By all accounts it behaves well when towed and as you can see it fits two dragon boats snugly with room for two more.
This opens up new opportunities for Paddlers for Life.
Who might we be racing against in 2011?

Look forward to learning some new Dragon Boat launching skills.

More photos of the Trailer here.

Whitbarrow 16th. January, 2011

Whitbarrow should have looked like this.
But it looked like this!
Nevertheless our intrepid band of five paddlers braved the rain and low cloud. They enjoyed the fresh air and negotiated the wet limestone and mud through the woodland and across limestone upland before descending down through the quarry. Yet again the honour of Paddlers for Life was maintained. Well done John, Sue, Rowena and Chris

Kendal Climbing Wall, January 7th. 2011.

Roz organised the first of several winter programme climbing sessions at Kendal Climbing Wall. It was well attended and paddlers got some great training from several helpers on the basics of tying on to your harness and belaying to confidence building climbs of varying difficulty. Lots of smiling faces showed the enjoyment everyone experienced along with occasional expressions of concentration as climbers pondered their next move!

Additional photos of the climbing session here.

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