Dr. Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia, Canada, ran a study to test the theory that repetitive upper-body exercise in those treated for breast cancer could cause lymphoedema, a chronic swelling of the arm.
Dr McKenzie believed that by following a special exercise and dragon boat training program, people could avoid lymphoedema and enjoy active, full lives. The initial group was carefully monitored and no new cases of lymphoedema occurred and none of the existing cases became worse.
This inspired those in the study to form the first breast cancer dragon boat team Abreast in a Boat, the sport now has now grown to over 150 breast cancer teams worldwide. The Plurabelle Paddlers is the first team in Ireland.
We’ve had a great start to 2017 with weekly Pilates and resistance sessions along with two crews on the water most Saturday mornings. Wednesday training starts back 5th April at 6:30pm. This year in addition to local regattas, we are competing in the European Club Crew Championships in France in July.
Plurabelle Paddlers hit the small screen again at the end of October 2016 when ‘Along Home Shores’ presenter, Bobby Kerr trained with us in the first episode of the UTV Ireland programme. Bobby also visited our club house, chatted to some paddlers and found out for himself what makes the Plurabelles such a very special club.
Plurabelle Paddlers’ very own Rhona Nally was on RTE Radio 1 on 27th September to talk to Ray D’arcy about living well with metastatic breast cancer. She even mentioned Plurabelle Paddlers! You can hear Rhona’s inspiring interview here.