The Pink Piston Paddlers dragon boat team just returned from a trip to Florence, Italy for an international dragon boat festival. (Blair Acton photo)

The Pink Piston Paddlers dragon boat team just returned from a trip to Florence, Italy for an international dragon boat festival. (Blair Acton photo)

Pink Piston Paddlers return from international dragon boat festival

Shuswap paddlers travelled to Florence in support of breast cancer survivors

The Pink Piston Paddlers have just returned from attending the International Breast Cancer Participatory Dragon Boat Festival in Florence, Italy.

Twenty two breast cancer survivor paddlers and 15 supporters from the Shuswap, Prince George, Campbell River and Vernon joined to paddle together in the largest female athletic event in the world.

Related: Dragon boaters make contribution to SAFE Society

This festival was founded by Dr. Don Mckenzie of Vancouver, a leading researcher of exercise as a form of breast cancer rehab.

Canada has hosted it twice (the inaugural in Vancouver, 2005, and in Peterborough, 2010). The Pink Piston Paddlers attended the festival in 2007 in Coloundra, Australia.

2018 was the first time the paddling event was held in Europe.

One hundred and 20 teams from 18 countries with 4,000 participants converged at the Cascine Park (formed in 1700s) in Florence.

Val Bradley of Sorrento, as the oldest paddler from Canada, received the honour of being the flag bearer for Canada during the closing ceremonies on July 8.

Blair Acton, who joined the Pink Piston Paddlers as a supporter, says, “It was a pretty amazing experience. One of the things done at a breast cancer festival is the flower ceremony, where boats are wrapped together while a song is played; after a minute of silence, flowers are tossed into the water. It can be pretty emotional, especially for survivors.”

Aside from the flower ceremony, which included 4,000 participants this year, Acton says the most memorable experience was their trip to Venice.

After the festival, six members of the team were able to paddle the canals of Venice with the Pink Lioness team.

“We were passing by all the gondolas, the locals are very jovial and friendly when you paddle by,” she said.

One of the highlights of the trip was the Pink Lioness’s amazing club house, which is in a 700-year-old salt warehouse. The Pink Piston Paddlers appreciate the efforts of Deanne from Vernon for arranging the trip.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Several members of the Pink Piston Paddlers dragon boat team made the trip to Italy, going to Florence for the International Breast Cancer Participatory Dragon Boat Fesitival July 6-8 and also paddling the canals of Venice. (Blair Acton photo)

Several members of the Pink Piston Paddlers dragon boat team made the trip to Italy, going to Florence for the International Breast Cancer Participatory Dragon Boat Fesitival July 6-8 and also paddling the canals of Venice. (Blair Acton photo)

Just Posted

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two seperate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

Kukpi7 (Chief) Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Band had words of praise for the consultation between her people and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on an ongoing highway project. (Black Press file photo)
Collaboration on Shuswap highway project receives national award

Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson says expansion will open new economic opportunities for the band

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read