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Information about Paddlers for Life

Paddlers for Life is a UK charity for cancer survivors, particularly breast cancer, and their supporters.
Members paddle splendid Dragon Boats in the beautiful scenery of Windermere in the Lake District, UK.
The physical activity and team support foster the wellbeing of those with experience of cancer.

If you would like to come and try dragon boating we paddle between April and October weather permitting.
We are based at Low Wood Bay near Ambleside on Windermere.
Paddling Information Sheet.
Also see Events for updates on our paddling activities.

  • Dragon Boat Paddling
  • Aims
  • History
  • Our Logo
  • Our Logo's meaning

Dragon boating – A World Wide Activity.
Why a Dragon Boat group?

Once the treatment of breast cancer is over, perhaps chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, you may become aware of feeling ‘on your own’. Returning to real life can sometimes seem daunting and uncertain.

Away from the network of medical support, we are suddenly back in charge of our bodies, thinking about building health and fitness.

Being able to do those things in the company of others who have travelled the same path can often help restore the confidence and energy to enjoy a full and active life despite breast cancer.

All over the world women are demonstrating their ‘can do’ attitude as they take part in Dragon Boating. It is all about having fun, trying new things, meeting interesting people and being involved
in a challenging physical activity.

It’s a great time to investigate Paddlers for Life on Windermere in the Lake District, Cumbria.

• Get fitter • Make new friends • Have fun •

our two dragon boats

Our aims.

To promote awareness and education.

To demonstrate people can still lead a full and active life despite breast cancer.

To provide support and fellowship to those who want to participate.

Regatta race


Professor Don McKenzie MD, PhD, from the Allan McGavin Institute of Sports Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada founded the breast cancer dragon boat movement.
This happened in 1996 as part of a trial study to determine if paddling would have any adverse effect on patients with breast cancer.

The breast cancer dragon boat movement in the UK was founded by Eve Elliott Pearson in Liverpool in 2005.

Today there are survivors and supporters established in Liverpool, Manchester, Scotland SE, Scotland SW, Wigan, Worcester and Windermere.
We come in all shapes, sizes and ages, sport often being an activity in our dim and distance pasts!
Athleticism is not a criterion for participation!

Boost (Building On Overlooked Sporting Talent)

BOOST are a charitable trust created in 2005 which aims to provide the financial support and encouragement needed to
enable all people to reach their potential through physical activity.

Paddlers for Life are grateful to represent just one of the twelve activities initiated nationally by Boost to champion the disabled and disadvantaged and to inspire people to overcome their challenges through developments in sport.

Members received an invitation to present at the inaugural Boost Stakeholders Day at Loughborough University, in October 2007.

The event provided an opportunity to meet with men and woman involved in, for example, sailing, wheelchair rugby and boccia and to share the problems and solutions of setting up sporting projects.

The group agreed on the importance of maintaining contact with each other as a valuable source of experience, expertise and not least of all, inspiration.

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing,
Motivation determines what you do,
Attitude determines how well you do it.”

A stimulating thought?

The Boost organisation paved the way for Paddlers for Life to becoming a registered charity status, by providing funding and support.

Our Logosmall logo

“It’s absolutely gorgeous!”

We hope you agree with the comments made on first sight of the Paddlers for Life unique and symbolic logo which,
it’s fair to say, has exceeded most people’s expectations.
Ideas on how best to use the logo are wild, wacky and wonderful.

An important acknowledgement is due to Jane, daughter of Sue and Peter, for her creativity
in the initial design of the logo.
We are grateful and proud of her involvement and commitment to Paddlers for Life, particularly representing the younger membership!
And, I think she believed she wouldn’t really get a mention on the website!!

Also, a big “thank you” is expressed to Dave from Hartlepool who came up with the goods, after a little pleading to exercise his graphic design talents.
THANK YOU for your generous services!

Our Logo

Paddlers for Life LogoThe pink flower encircling the handle of the paddle represents the Flowers on the Water ceremony where pink flowers or petals are tossed onto the water.
The flowers acknowledge and remember special memories of women who have a shorter life-span and also their families.

 The bright yellow colour of the handle represents sunshine, life and hope.

 The green, shaded and curved upper shaft of the paddle represents the surrounding hills of the Lake District.

 The shaft extends to the blade of the paddle. The blue, rippled waves represent the water of Windermere on which we paddle in the Lake District in Cumbria, United Kingdom.


This A4 flyer can be downloaded for printing and distribution.

Here is an A5 version.

Diamond Jubilee Pageant Logo

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If you wish to enquire about joining as a Member or Supporter,
or becoming  a Sponsor or make a Donation please click here.