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!

Knot A Breast is selling tickets to the Hamilton Bulldogs game on Saturday, march 2nd at 4 p.m. where they will take on the London Knights. Tickets are available through any member of the team or you can contact us for more information.

Watch for Knot A Breast team members on the mezzanine selling “Chuck A Puck” bags as a fundraiser. Funds raised will help support our training and racing initiatives.

If your puck is closest to centre ice, you could win some great prizes! See you there!

Now that we’ve enjoyed the holidays, it’s time to get down to serious business.

Dryland/Pool practices are every Monday at 7 p.m. We alternate between group fitness training in the gym and a poolside practice focusing on technique. Training is held at the Hamilton YWCA at 75 McNab St S.

If you are a breast cancer survivor and are interested in coming to check it out, contact us for more details.

Plaque on the KAB Memorial Bench at Hamilton Harbour waterfont: "Knot A Breast so long as we live they too shall live as we remember them"

On Sunday, September 23, 2018, Knot A Breast Dragon Boat Team celebrated their twentieth anniversary at the Macassa Bay Yacht Club (MBYC). The celebration was well attended by many former and current team members, and their numerous supporting families and friends. The event was held as an open house with food and drink for all, including a beautiful cake and a toast with pink Prosecco. There was a display of all the historical trophies and medals that Knot A Breast has earned over the past twenty years as well as a storyline detailing the highlights over the years.

Michelle Lapointe and Gwen Vernon prepared a captivating slide show presentation that played throughout the afternoon and will be used during many events to come. Knot A Breast President, Liz Psutka was the emcee for the event. Leslie Williams read the Knot A Breast prayer, and speeches were made by our Founder and Coach, Kathy Levy and by the MBYC Commodore, Jeff Dziepak.

After the formalities, the group took a walk down to the water’s edge and paused at the Knot A Breast memorial bench where they all placed pink carnations in the water, which is the tradition to honour all those who have passed on from breast cancer.

It was a wonderful afternoon that acknowledged twenty years of success as Hamilton’s premier breast cancer survivor dragon boat team.

by Aleta Thompson, KAB member

About a year after my breast cancer chemotherapy was completed, my doctor suggested I look into Knot A Breast Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team. The first year I just watched the training from the safety boat. The following year, the team was planning on racing at a festival in Peterborough so my formal training started. It was something I had never done but I caught on soon enough. As time went on the team’s training became a habit for me.

The Peterborough races were the third International Participatory Festival for Breast Cancer Survivors put on by the International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission (IBCPC). The IBCPC is an international organization whose mandate is to encourage the establishment of breast cancer dragon boat teams, within the framework of participation and inclusiveness. They support the development of recreational dragon boat paddling as a contribution to a healthy life style for those diagnosed with breast cancer. They work with a host city to put on the IBCPC International Participatory festival every four years. Peterborough was the third host city, June 10-13, 2010. Teams came from Australia, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, USA & Canada.

I was booked to race in Peterborough. Seventy-three teams from all over the world came to race. When Knot A Breast has extra paddlers, we sometimes lend members out to teams that do not have enough paddlers to fill a boat. I was scheduled to race with a team from British Columbia called the Sunshine Dragon. As a newcomer to the sport, I was very excited being in the races. We practiced together and I was hooked. My very first race gave me the greatest thrill to the point that I was in tears! To top it off, Knot A Breast Dragon Boat Team came in first!! Being a participatory festival, everyone gets a medal, but everyone also knows who had the fastest time and crossed the finish line first.

I knew then that I CAN DO ANYTHING; dragon boat racing was in my blood. Thanks goes to my team Knot A Breast – the type of team that works very hard and cares for its members health.