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Member Travels to New Zealand for International Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Festival

Fri Apr 28, 2023
In the News

 Margaret Hinchliff (one of our paddlers) has just returned from NZ after attending an International Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Festival. She spent 12 adventurous days mixing and mingling with survivors and supporters.  Thirty countries attended from around the globe with an attendance of around 3000 people. How awesome it was to make new friends from far away.  Although there were many fun activities, these four highlights really made it a memorable  trip. 

1)  Parade of Nations 

All teams represented their country of origin in special outfits waving their flag. For me the Canadian support that was shown for Canada was amazing.  I was truly proud to be CANADIAN. 

2)  Festival Race Day 1

All teams were bused to Lake Karapiro.  This was the beginning of new and old friendships that only meet every 3-4 years.  Two Rows of white tents housed the country teams.  That day was a trading frenzy of pins, t-shirts, hats and other trinkets.  What fun we had to share our country of origin.  I thought to myself this is what festivals are all about.  Mother Nature wasn't always cooperating.  For me it was more the bonding of the pink sisters and supporters I met. 

3) Festival Race Day 2

Race day 2 ended up being a surprise of events.  First and foremost, Mother Nature did not cooperate and the races were called off due to high winds.  What a disappointment.  For me that wasn't so bad as it gave all of us a chance to mingle more.  Then the Flower and closing ceremonies were very emotional for me.  Women of all ages waved a flower as Warrior and Angel of The Morning played.  Tears streamed down faces as many hugged each other.  Following the songs each person walked to water's edge and threw their flower on the water.  That was a symbol of remembering those who had succumbed to breast cancer or are currently in treatment. 

4)  New Friendships

I met amazing women of all ages.  I connected with two ladies in particular from NZ.  We shared our journey and where we are today in that journey.  WE HAVE WON THE BATTLE NOW LETS PADDLE logo was on the back of a team shirt.  How true that is for breast cancer survivors.  Would I attend an International Festival again?  YOU BET!

Contact Us:

Shuswap Dragon Boat Society
P.O. Box 1195
Salmon Arm BC V1E 4P3

Email: friendsabreast@gmail.com

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