Knot A Breast Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team presents:
Rock n’ Jeans fundraiser dance / party with live music by Freedom Train.

Friday, November 8th, 2019
7:30pm – 12:00am

Tickets $30 per person or table of 8 for $200 available from team members or contact us!
Food available for purchase!
Prizes!
Cash bar

Location: Canadian Legion, Branch 163, 435 Limeridge Road East, Hamilton

By Carrie Brooks-Joiner

Many sports work specific muscle groups to a greater extent than others. As dragon boaters, Knot A Breast Breast Cancer Survivors focus on strengthening the shoulders, core and lats, and improving our overall cardio-fitness. While we have heard one of our coaches say that “dragon boaters don’t need strong legs,” our health and fitness can benefit from adding other sports or types of activities.

Among the benefits of cross-training include:

  • Improved total fitness. By adding in other activities that bring in more cardio-fitness, stretching and/or strength training, we can improve our overall fitness.
  • Reduced risk of injury. Spread the load, and increase flexibility and strength.
  • Weight loss. More activity burns calories. Need I say more?
  • Sticking with fitness. Switching it up reduces boredom and provides new opportunities to try new things and train with others.

Cycling has proven to be an excellent cross-training addition for numerous KAB members this season. The sport adds a good dose of cardio-fitness, keeps hips strong and mobile, and gives our shoulders a break. Cycling still stresses the butt but there is some solace in that the soreness is in new areas! While cycling can be done alone it is certainly more fun in a group. KAB members have ventured out on bikes for several day trips this summer inspired by Norma Moores’s cycling enthusiasm and expertise.

The first trip started at the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge following the Waterfront Trail to Fifty Point Conservation Area and back. At Fifty Point we stopped for lunch and had a surprise visit with teammate Kim Short and partner Don on their sailboat. Truthfully, Norma sold this trip to reluctant me as only 20 km with an ice-cream at Hutch’s incentive. We ended up cycling over 50 km and there was no ice-cream. I didn’t think I could go that far on my “little-old-lady” upright city bike! But I was hooked and agreed to go on the next adventure…..

Trip #2 in late June started south of Copetown and followed the TH&B (Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo) Rail Trail to Brantford. Cycling on rail trails is a pleasure and the total of 50 km was surprisingly doable. As former train track lines, the elevations are gradual and the surfaces are either paved or hard packed. Highlights along this rural route included a break to admire the stained glass windows at the H.M. Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, a stop in at the Onkenhόn:we Festival at the Woodland Cultural Centre, and a chat with the archaeologists doing a dig at the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School site. After inhaling lunch (including ice-cream!), we turned around and headed back.

For trip #3 in early July we ventured out for a longer day and headed from Waterford to Port Dover (no it wasn’t Friday the 13th) on the Waterford Heritage Trail, Norfolk Sunrise Trail and Lynn Valley Trail . The scenery along the way included waterfalls, ginseng fields, heritage sites and forested areas. After fish and chips by Lake Erie and a bike repair, we headed back. Another 50 km under my belt.

August’s trip #4 was far more adventurous and included two overnights on the Greater Niagara Circle Route . We headed out after Saturday practice and went from Thorold to Port Colborne, Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines and back to Thorold. The paved route follows the Welland Canals, Lake Erie, Niagara River and Lake Ontario through urban centres, downtowns, the Niagara Escarpment, waterfronts and agricultural areas. It included a walk-on only ferry (named Bridge-it) and an incline railway ride with our bicycles. We triumphantly pedaled over 170 km.

KAB members cycle along the Welland Canal Parkway Trail
KAB members ride the Port Robinson walk-on ferry, Bridge-It

The members and accompanying partners / friends have differed on each trip. There has been a range of cycling skill levels and various type of bicycles. What has been constant is a good amount of exercise, seeing new vistas, shared snacks, and lots of laughs. 

Cycling has been an effective and fun addition to my fitness regime!  Inspired by the successful day and overnight trips and no longer daunted by longer distances, I’ve been cycling more on my own, and have reached more for by bike and less for my car keys. Cycling fits the bill to up my exercise level without adding something risky or completely new. I encourage you to find a form of cross training that gives you pleasure and keeps you motivated.

Knot A Breast Dragon Boat Team is literally moving forward with celebrating 20 years of paddling in Hamilton. Look for our team photo on HSR buses, the Hamilton Waterfront Trust Trolley, and at Macassa Bay Yacht Club!

Advertisement showing team paddling during race
Knot A Breast Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team ad

The photo was taken by Don Wood, one of our fans and husband to teammate Kim Short, during one of our races. Jessica Combate, Graphic Designer specializing in healthcare and corporate communications (contact at 289-489-7048, jessica.combate@gmail.com), designed the advertisement. Knot A Breast would like to thank both of them for capturing the spirit of our team: Together Everyone Achieves More.

We hope the advertisement builds community awareness of our 20 years of showing women and men that they can lead full and active lives after treatment for breast cancer.

Looking up at the sun and leave shadows through the new team tent canopy

Last fall, the Knot A Breast Breast Cancer Survivor Team’s Executive decided to use a portion of the proceeds received from the City of Hamilton Enrichment Fund Grant to purchase a new team tent. After speaking to many teams at last year’s GWN races in Toronto, the work began to compare pricing, seek out a supplier and to design a new tent! Outlet Tags Canopies, Toronto, was the chosen provider with the best pricing and quick turn-around time. Several dragon boat teams have used this company and they produce a fantastic tent.

A special thank you to Steve Evans, who put in a considerable amount of time working on various colour and style templates. The KAB Board tossed around several colour schemes and decided on a nice clean look with white walls and canopy, and purple valance. Steve worked his magic on configuring the KAB logo to really stand out. The KAB logo is proudly displayed on the inside and outside of the back wall and on the canopy.

New team tent with KAB members resting under it
New Knot A Breast team tent

On May 26, 2019, as team members walked down the hill towards the team area at the 13th Annual Toronto Women’s Dragon Boat Festival, Heart Lake Conservation Area, Brampton, they were greeted with a brand new, 10 ft. by 20 ft. team tent proudly displaying a full view of the Knot A Breast logo! Thank-you City of Hamilton for helping us with our team shelter and team spirit.

Knot A Breast Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team held their Annual General Meeting on May 11, 2019 at Macassa Bay Yacht Club (MBYC). Thirty members, the Board of Directors, Team Coach and Team Manager attended, approving the 2018 financial statements, committee reports and 2019 budget.

Important business of the meeting included presenting the H.T. Memorial Scholarship. This award is named in memory of Helen Therese Templeton, one of Knot A Breast’s biggest fans and supportors. Coined KAB’s “Mom”, she religiously attended water practices, and knew individual team members by name. Her smile and love of life were infectious. This year it was awarded to Grace Jones, granddaughter of long-time Knot A Breast paddler Nancy Jones. Grace is entering her 2nd year at Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, studying a double major in global studies and environmental studies. Congratulations Grace!

H.T. Memorial Scholarship
Nancy Jones, her granddaughter, Grace Jones awarded the H.T. Memorial Scholarship and Coach Kathy Levy

Members heard from the Team Coach, Kathy Levy. She reflected on a successful 2018 season highlighting the team’s first place win at the International Breast Cancers Paddlers’ Commission (IBCPC) Participatory Dragon Boat Festival, Florence, Italy, the third time in a row that Knot A Breast has held this title. She also looked ahead to our newbies (members that have joined within the last year) getting into the boat for practice, and our upcoming competition at the 2019 Canadian Dragon Boat Championships, Regina SK.

The new Board of Directors were presented including, as pictured above, back row: Past-chair and Team Coach, Kathy Levy; Anna Candelori; Kathy Martin, Communications Officer; Kim Short; Jo-Anne Rogerson, Treasurer; Geri Schweinbenz; Donna Reise, Secretary; front row: Michelle Lapointe; Liz Psutka, President. Joining them is Team Manager, Ann Hewitson, back row on the right.

Following the AGM, Knot A Breast members got the clubhouse and grounds at MBYC ready for the paddling season, and witnessed MBYC lift the team’s two dragon boats into the water. Knot A Breast is grateful for the generosity of MBYC to host our waterfront home on the Hamilton Harbour. It is a great start to the 2019 paddling season.

Fork lift lefting the dragon boat into the water
Macassa Bay Yacht Club lift-in of the Knot A Breast dragon boat at the start of the 2019 season

By Kim Short, KAB Member

There is no better way to kick off the dragon boat season than participating in a training camp, especially when one gets to paddle at the beautiful, world-class Nathan Benderson Park in sunny Sarasota, Florida. This year’s training camp was held on April 28 to May 4, 2019. Members of Welland’s SNCC Warlocks, Sarasota’s Survivors in Sync, and London’s Rowbust and Pendragons joined thirteen members of the Knot A Breast Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team. Our practices were 90 minutes long, twice a day for seven days with expert coaching from Kathy Levy (Knot A Breast), Doug Jones (SNCC Warlocks) and Cheryl McLachlan (Pendragons/Rowbust).

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Training included team warm-ups and cool downs, technique drills, speed work, two video reviews with individual feedback, and endurance paddling. Over time, we learned to make adjustments to our technique and, by the end of the week, any on-looker would think we were one big crew paddling together. Amazing!

While the coaches worked diligently to help us improve our stroke and become better paddlers and teammates, and we did out best to execute their advice, we also had time for many laughs and enjoyment of the warmth and beauty of Sarasota, Florida. Most of us stayed at the Sun ‘N Fun RV Resort where we enjoyed full access to the swimming pools, hot tubs, gym, yoga studio and other amenities. Thanks to Tammy (Pendragons) for leading us in two relaxing yoga sessions to help stretch out our sore muscles and find some time to just breathe! We had fun evenings together, and an afternoon off to enjoy the hot and sunny weather (beach or shopping day!). Some of us also ventured out in the evening to sample the food at the local restaurants. We enjoyed paddling at the world-class, multi-use sports venue while admiring palm trees, native birds, turtles and alligators, yes, alligators!!

We celebrated at the farewell party, where newbies (first-time attendees to the training camp) were awarded with a special lei, and the men also received special recognition. Kudos were given to our awesome steerspersons, Donna and Terry. Great job everyone! Thank you to Steve, Verna, Lindsay and Sue (SNCC Warlocks) for organizing this awesome experience. Huge thanks to Kathy and Doug for your vision in offering this camp in Sarasota and giving so much of your yourselves to make us all better dragon boat paddlers.

As a third time participant in this training camp, I have to say it just gets better and better. It improves my paddling, I make new friendships, and I feel “ready, ready” to begin the dragon boat season. I can’t wait for next year!

The sure signs of spring are often thought to be robins and daffodils. But for dragon boat paddlers like Knot A Breast Cancer Survivor members, there is only one significant symbol of the shift from winter to spring: boats in the water.

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On Saturday, April 13, 2019, the three Welland dragon boats, weighing about 600 lbs (270 kg) each were removed from storage at the Welland International Flatwater Centre and placed in the canal. Through multi-team collaboration with members of Knot A Breast, SNCC Warlocks and Rowbust, each boat was slowly walked down the hill in a coordinated awkward shuffle.

Spring training has officially started!

It’s finally April and our breast cancer survivor teammates are eager to get outside! There are so many benefits from working out outdoors — from increased Vitamin D levels to mood improvement. However, if we don’t take some precautions, we could quickly get injured.

1. GO SLOW

Every website we visited listed this piece of advice. Even if we have been walking/running on a treadmill, spinning indoors, or doing the elliptical, we cannot expect to take the same level of training outdoors right away. The pavement is harder, the weather adds to the workout, and the incline varies outdoors. Scale back to about 70% of what you were doing inside and gradually work your way back up. And if (gasp) you haven’t been working out inside, START REALLY SLOW!!! There is time — you will get there. Start with a brisk walk.

2. ALTERNATE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR TRAINING

This way you can get in some tough workouts indoors, but still reap the benefits of the outdoors. Try increasing the incline on the treadmill to prepare yourself for elevation changes outside.

3. KEEP UP YOUR RESISTANCE TRAINING

So often we are so happy to get outside and run or bike or swim or walk or hike that we forget to keep up with the weights! But in order to do cardio, our muscles and bones need to be strong! You could even take the weights outside. Dragon boating demands cardio fitness and strength.

4. DRESS APPROPRIATELY

Now is a good time to evaluate your “gear”. Check your shoes. Do you need more cushioning for your feet? Do you have layers that can be taken off when you work up a sweat? Do you have a water bottle to take with you outside?

5. GET OUT THERE

No more excuses! Now is the time to get fit!!! Have fun!

The Knot A Breast Dragon Boat Team partnered up with the OHL Hamilton Bulldogs for our annual hockey fund-raiser on Saturday, March 2nd, 2019. The Bulldogs played against the London Knights at The Dog Pound (nickname for First Ontario Centre). Everyone scored some fun and some were winners.

Knot A Breast team members and family sold pucks for the “Chuck A Puck” event at the game. We had a lot of fun selling the pucks throughout the game. At the end of the game the Chuck A Puck event took place. The pucks that land in the tire at centre ice win. Two excited little boys won the prizes (a $50.00 Canadian Tire gift card and two tickets to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto).

The funds raised at the game (ticket sales and Chuck A Puck) will help support Knot A Breast’s training and racing initiatives. Many teammates, who were unable to attend the hockey game, generously donated their tickets to Annunciation of Our Lord Elementary School. School children and their families were very excited to get the donated tickets and were able to have a fun afternoon at the game.

We look forward to next year’s game and working in partnership with the Hamilton Bulldogs to support the endeavours of the Knot A Breast Dragon Boat Team.

On Monday, February 11, 2019, members from Knot A Breast Dragon Boat Team were joined by members from SNCC Warlocks Dragon Boat Crew to participate in the Threshold Metabolic Challenge. The challenge was created to raise awareness of and help end the stigma around mental illness.

The Threshold Foundation was created in memory of Jared Humenik, who lost his battle to mental illness, to raise money and awareness for mental health and addiction. All proceeds raised through Threshold to a Brighter Tomorrow are donated directly to rehab centres and CAMH.

Bryan Kelly, personal trainer and owner of SMBS Training Studio, conducted the execution of the metabolic group activity, with the assistance of our group fitness leaders, Officer Dana Wood and Officer Therese Irving-Peckham, who provided guidance and demonstration in the high and low impact metabolic programs. Metabolic training involves completing structural and compound exercises with little rest in between exercises in an effort to maximize calorie burn and increase the metabolic rate during and after the workout. Metabolic training is high intensity anaerobic exercise that makes you breathless!

Both the high and low impact groups participated in two full rounds of a wide variety of exercises including frog squats, t-stand push ups, floor pull over, paint cans, ski jumps to name a few! All movements, holds, stretches and rest periods are 30 seconds each to make up a 20 minute round. Knot A Breast breast cancer survivors stepped up to the challenge and completed this twice!! What a great way for team members to improve their cardiovascular capacity and burn some serious calories to prepare for the upcoming dragon boat racing season! Participants that provided a voluntary donation and participated in the group activity were entered into a draw for some great prizes and KAB members took away several!

Congratulations Knot A Breast for stepping up to the fitness challenge to support a great cause!