To raise awareness of Breast Cancer, during Octobers Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pool of Life and Amathus Dragonboat Club held a ‘Taster day’ at the Liverpool Watersports Centre. Potential new members and their supporters were invited to try their hand at dragon boat paddling and to find out more about our support group’s activities.
Breast cancer patients, their friends and their relatives were also joined by Miss Leena Chagla (2nd from right in photo), breast surgeon and Lead Clinician in Breast Services at St Helens & Knowsley NHS Trust who brought with her a number of colleagues from the Trust.
Following a safety briefing, the issue of buoyancy aids and a quick demonstration, paddlers were loaded into the Dragon Boats. Lots of nerves were showing, and a few people were very anxious about stepping into the boat for the first time. Two dragon boats were put through their paces, learning the basic paddling technique and enjoying weather that showed the docks at their most attractive. The two boats paddled majestically into Albert Dock where they admired the scenery before lining up for the first of several races, with friendly banter being exchanged between boats. The sight of the two boats delighted the watching crowd of visitors at the dock, who took videos and photos, clapped and cheered us on.
Despite initial nerves about stepping into the boat for the first time, all this was forgotten as the paddle session progressed and the rivalry between boats increased. But there can only be one winner and the losing team smiled sweetly through the “three cheers for other boat” ritual.
All paddlers received a hero’s welcome from onlookers as they arrived back at the centre for tea and cakes, provided by the fantastic Pool of Life bakers. Lots of chatter took place, experiences and fears were exchanged, friendships were made, and lots of “when can we do that again” and “Can I have a go next time” and of course “please can I come again”. A huge thank you to everyone who came along to join in, to the bakers, the welcome committee, the people who set up the centre and those who helped to put it back. Thanks to the drummers and the Helms/coaches, we couldn’t have done it without you. We even got a write up in the online Liverpool Echo: here.