Ann Ball’s testimonial

Pool of Life Dragon Boat Team logo


My name is Ann, and I first joined Pool of Life (POL) in 2011.

I live in South Liverpool with my husband Ian, and our two gorgeous Westie dogs Poppy, aged 10 and Bonny, aged 2. I have two grown-up children, James, who is 29 and Emma, who is 27. Emma is also a member of POL as a supporter.

Poppy and Bonny, West Highland Terriers

I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2008, aged 46, followed by a recurrence in 2009. After my surgery and treatment were completed, I decided to join POL to try something new and to meet people who shared similar experiences. Dragon Boating is also a great form of exercise and really appealed to me personally, given my love of water and being outdoors.

Having a drink in Dublin

As a POL member, I have taken part in some fantastic events and travelled to some great places with the friends I have made. Some highlights include taking part in the 2018 IBCPC Dragon Boat Festival in Florence, paddling in Donegal and Dublin. I also attended an International Festival in Murcia, Spain, where my daughter Emma also came along. I have taken part in several charity events with POL friends, including Pretty Muddy, the Thames Path Challenge, and an abseil organised by POL. There are plenty of updates on the various things we have done on the website’s news section.

In 2017-2019 I decided to take on a personal challenge for me and become a trustee of POL, first becoming secretary and then chairperson. I found this to be a rewarding thing to do, and it got me even more involved in the charity.

Charity race

Charity race challenge

In April 2019, I was diagnosed with Secondary Breast Cancer; having the support of so many wonderful and inspirational members is invaluable. I am doing really well on the current treatment, which is Palbociclib and Letrozole.

Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, I intend to travel with my family in our tourer caravan, visiting more UK places. I am looking to travel to New Zealand in 2023 to participate in the next IBCPC event with fellow POL members. Most importantly, I am so looking forward to getting back on the water and paddling near the beautiful Liverpool waterfront.

Waterfront group photo

For me, one of the best things about POL is the camaraderie between its members. We have shared so many laughs over the years, and I look forward to creating more unforgettable memories.

If POL sounds like something you would like to be involved in, please get in touch via our website – come down to the Watersports Centre, and just give it a go!

Ann xx