In March of 2006 several women met in the cancer center of Wheaton Franciscan Cancer Care – All Saints, Racine, Wisconsin to talk about starting a breast cancer survivor’s dragon boat team. They named themselves Pink Paddling Power and one of the members designed the team logo and they were off and running.
Dragon boating is an ancient Chinese sport that symbolizes man’s struggle with nature and his fight against deadly enemies so it seems appropriate to use the dragon boating experience to raise awareness in the Racine community of Breast Cancer and for dragon boating to become an activity that encourages women with Breast Cancer to live full and dynamic lives.
In 2007 PPP raced in their first international race at the World Corporate & Community Dragonboat Championships in Welland, Ontario, Canada. They completed 5 races in one day including a 2000 meter race and went home with their first medal. They won the “Team Spirit Award” in the Oshkosh Fall Festival & Dragon Boat Race and went home with a traveling Trophy.
In 2011, the team had a very successful season winning the Cancer Survivor Division at Capital Lakes in Madison in June. In August, the team traveled to Fort Dodge, IA to compete in the BCS Division of Club Crew National Championships coming home with gold medals in the 200m, 500m and 2000m races. All this paddling with 17 paddlers instead of 20. In addition to the Dana Nelson BCS Traveling Cup, the team was informed that these victories earned them a berth to represent USA BCS Survivors in the World Club Crew Dragon Boat Championships held in Hong Kong in July of 2012! PPP survived the challenging race venue of Victoria Harbour and earned 2nd Runner Up in both the 200m and 500m races in the 2012 World Club Crew Championship held in Hong Kong! What an experience!
2013 was a year of growth with many new members. 2014 is another exciting year as PPP was chosen to represent the Midwest Region (ADBA) in The World Club Crew Championships in Ravenna, Italy in September in the BCS Division. Increase training and fund raising with tremendous community support allowed another opportunity for PPP to be ambassadors for both Racine and breast cancer survivors worldwide.
Everyone is welcome to participate regardless of fitness level, age, size, shape or experience. The team provides everyone an opportunity to experience camaraderie with other BCS and experience the excitement of competing in this intriguing sport. Wellness activities happen year round in the Racine area at various locations. The water activities are located on the Racine lake shore with the boats in the water from late April through September.
Recent article with PPP quotes: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/breast-surgery-patients-angelina-jolie-benefit-exercise/story?id=19187621#.UZxH4ti1vfc
July 2014 PPP won the BCS Division at both the Pleasant Prairie (Kenosha) race and the BCS CUP at the Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival. WISN Channel 12 carried a feature story on us. Follow the link below to see it!
September 2014 Pink Paddling Power was one of two USA Breast Cancer Teams to compete in the World Club Crew Championships in Ravena, Italy. PPP placed 6th in the world at this competition, beating their own personal bests in the 200m 500m and 2000m length races.
PPP will branch out competing in a Talent Competition with our "glee club" performing "You'll Never Walk Alone" at the 3rd Annual GOT TALENT Competition benefit for the HOPES Center of Racine on March 7 2015 at St. Rita's School Hall.