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Paddlers for Life UK

Promoting breast cancer survivor dragon boat paddling across the UK.

Founders, Paddlers for Life UK

Louisa Balderson and Sue Cogley are founder members of Paddlers for Life UK and the Paddlers for Life Windermere  breast cancer survivor dragon boat team which has paddled on Windermere since 2008. They work tirelessly to promote cancer survivor dragon boat paddling in the UK and internationally.

Sue Cogley

Sue has wide experience in dragon boat paddling. Through the UK charity the aim is to widen access to the benefits of paddling by aiding the creation and development of new teams across the UK. Sue is the UK National Representative at the IBCPC.

Louisa Balderson

Louisa has been a member of the steering committee for the International Breast Cancer Paddlers' Commission (IBCPC) which has helped build her knowledge of breast cancer dragon boat teams internationally and learn from countries where the activity is more established.

Dragon Boat Paddling

Dragon boat paddling particularly includes upper body exercise which has been shown to reduce or limit lymphodema which may arise from surgery.
Exercise promotes recovery after treatment for a cancer diagnosis.
Research suggests regular exercise also may help prevent recurrence of cancer for people in remission.

The goals of PfL UK 

While the United Kingdom (UK) is relatively new to the idea of breast cancer dragon boat paddling, Louisa Balderson and Sue Cogley are working hard, as Paddlers for Life UK to influence the development of a UK national programme. They are taking account of the wisdom and integrity of the know-how from the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission (IBCPC), Abreast In A Boat (AIAB) Canada, Dragon’s Abreast (DA) Australia and from around the world.

To encourage the establishment of breast cancer dragon boat Teams, within the framework of participation and inclusiveness, in parts of the UK where no such Teams exist and to support, when requested, those Teams already established

To ensure PfL UK activities (e.g. a breast cancer dragon boat paddlers network, conferences, training, festivals) are governed by the participatory rules of PfL UK and are coordinated with the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission (IBCPC).

To promote links among the PfL UK Teams and others around the UK and the world.

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

Dragon boat paddling is whole body exercise and we are able to do it in a beautiful location.

Low Wood Bay on Windermere.

Sian, daughter of one of the members, filmed Paddlers for Life Windermere as they prepared for a visit to the International Participatory festival in Sarasota, Florida as part of a combined Paddlers for Life UK team. The team included memmbers from Windermere and Manchester as well as members of Worcester Busters. Along with two fellow media studies students they filmed on a wet August day to tell some of the stories behind breast cancer survivor paddling in the UK.