paddling, thriving, surviving after cancer



Welcome to our New Boat

The Chair Patricia Rigg of this group (who has had breast cancer twice) which has now been running for five years, said: “We started with a second-hand boat which was deteriorating and there’s only so much patching up you can do. Then we were lucky in getting a grant from the Big Lottery Fund which enabled us this year to buy a brand new boat complete with a dragon’s head and tail. The new boat is a lot easier to handle, it is much lighter and we now have a new trailer being built to help us launch the boat and retrieve it from the water at the end of the session. This will be a great help as quite a few of our ladies have trouble lifting! The other new acquisition for our boat is a new cover, this is brilliant, it has attached bungee ties, and it is tailored to fit the boat top this stops the rain getting in, our old cover let water in and we had to bail the water out of the boat out regularly”.

The new boat will seat 20 people and we have a steady set of regular members who come along for a paddle on our regular Tuesday nights. We’ve had ladies come along who are 30 up to the age of 75, so there’s a broad age range of women. We have people who have just been diagnosed, as well as those who have overcome their cancer and can provide advice and support to others. One woman first came to us in tears – she was in such despair after having been diagnosed thinking she didn’t have a future. Being part of a supportive, relaxed friendly group really helped her, and the team exercise is great for you physically and mentally.

“We have a lot of fun and the ladies can bring along a family member or supporter. Some husbands and partners receive and offer support to each other and get the chance to chat to other people, while they have a cup of tea and a biscuit after paddling, where they can gather information and advice so they can support their partners.”

So if you would like to come down and join us, or come to see what we do, you would be made most welcome.


New boat purchased

After a trial year of paddling our team managed to successfully bid for Brighter Borough funding, from Wigan Council to purchase our own Dragon Boat and fund some training events. This was an opportunity for the group to become self sufficient and we have now managed to send two of our supporters on helm training.


Awakening the Dragon

We had a ‘Launch the Boat event’ on 7th June 2011 where our consultants Mr Harland, Mr Prasad and Dr Anna Lionaki came to join us for the ‘Dotting the Eyes’ ceremony, where they took part in the Chinese tradition of dotting the eyes, which is carried out to ‘Awaken the Dragon’ when a new boat goes on the water or to arouse the dragon from its winter sleep at the beginning of each season.



On Saturday the 1st October 2011 some of our members went down to Worcester to the ‘Inaugural National Breast Cancer Paddlers Network Meeting’, a group being set up to coordinate paddling around the UK. We had a wonderful meeting with like-minded people, with visitors from as far apart as Edinburgh, Windermere, Liverpool, Manchester, Worcester and Bournemouth, this event was hosted by’Worcester Busters’ and they provided us with a brilliant buffet lunch.