FALL NEWSLETTER 2008 by gjjur4356



FALL NEWSLETTER                                                                                                   2008
2008 Board of Directors                                             Trainers
President ......................................... Linda Kuska     Coach ......................................Cheryl McLachlan
Vice President ........................Sonja Kramberger             Assistant Coach..........................Sarah Shellard
Secretary .................................Maureen Huggins
Treasurer ....................................... Bonnie Anger
Member-at-Large..................................Deb Lucy           Medical Officer ....................... Dr. Melanie Bonin

President’s Report
I can’t believe another paddling season has                         here and how we got here but we are going to
come to a close. By the time you read this our 2                    that next level. It may seem a little scary at times,
dragon boats will be put away for the winter and                    but we are ready! This year has proven, the
the team will be at The Athletic Club doing our                     Rowbust Team can do anything that we put our
winter training!                                                    minds to! Anything is possible...with our positive
                                                                    attitudes...the possibilities are endless!
This has been a season of “Wow's”. Every time
we turn around, there is another WOW!                               Our coaches, Cheryl McLachlan and Sarah
We placed 1st place in most of our races, we had                    Shellard have been such inspiration to us this
many personal best’s, we showed mixed teams                         year. Words cannot even express how the team
that we are a force to be reckoned with and we                      feels...yes, Cheryl...for once the team may be
were a true “team” in many ways.                                    speechless!

Our Halifax adventure was such an amazing                           All of our Sponsors, truly, we could not do it
experience, racing against teams from across                        without your support! Scotiabank, The Athletic
Canada and coming home with 2 trophies. As our                      Club, CAW, Tom Hunter, Dr. Jerry Heerema and
coaches tell us...“there is no shame in going                       countless other personal donors...THANK YOU,
home with 2 trophies”!                                              THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Our next year is shaping up to be more of the                       The Fanshawe Yacht Club, The Wonderland
“Wow” phenomenon. Rowbust will be celebrating                       Dragon Boat Club...your friendships mean the
our 10th Anniversary, 10 years                                      world to us! There are so many people to thank;
together...amazing! But wait...there’s                              so many people have helped us get to this point
more...Rowbust will be hosting the very 1st                         in our lives.
National Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat
Sport Championships! Now Breast Cancer                              Our families...what can we say...we are all part of
Survivor Dragon Boat Teams are being                                this big family called “Rowbust”!
recognized for all the hard work we put into our
training and now, we are being taken seriously!                     Linda Kuska
We will never forget whom we are, why we are                        President
Coach’s Corner
Where does a coach start when taking over a club that has been moulded for 9 years??!! You ask yourself,
“Do I want to do this? I just retired from training in Toronto 4 times a week, for 4 years and placing life on
hold.” Heck!!! I had 3 months of downtime, that should be enough...Okay, introduce the crew to me, and me
to the crew!! No time to lose, “we gotta git goin, if we are to git ‘er done ‘n dusted!!”
I remember the Rowbust crew the first early morning in The Athletic Club’s pool, and I took over from
Linda’s kind introduction. There was apprehension, self-doubt, and intimidation, a sense of losing one’s
social outings on the water...all this and more. The team heard from that point on, “Our coach, Mac Hickox,
an Olympic coach and paddler developed the radical new hybrid stroke that helped our team win gold over
much younger competition at 2006 & 2007 World Championships.” From that point on, the crew has heard,
trained and slept to the initial paddle set-up [square in the air] to the exit at the hip and recovery, each step
being meticulous!! It takes a long time, many kilometers, hours of practice, patience and attention to detail.
This means creating drills to teach the patterns of movement. In breaking down a dynamic movement
pattern into a series of meaningful static drills with external and internal cues, the drills teach the muscle
memory patterns of movement and allow the athlete to feel the desired connection to the water. And that we
did!! We did it well!!!
We, as coaching staff, have witnessed the team transform itself to a stronger than ever unit/family!! This is
the reward for any coach. This is the most powerful measure of success one can ask for. The medals are
great, and we did promise podium finishes --- follow through is important! Who could have imagined the gold
medal accomplishments, the top quartile finish in every regatta [even amongst co-ed teams], and 2 gold
medals in Halifax at a regatta that hosted 31 teams from all over Canada! It’s true, Rowbust is now one of, if
not, the team to beat, which means they can and will work harder in 2009. Not because they have to, but
because they want to. For an individual effort to excel, only builds for the strongest team a coach can
assemble. This is proven time and time again in every team sport.
There were many highlights from the 2008 season, including the Olympics in China!

                                     Olympic Coach Lori Sippel in Beijing
Hard to imagine a BCS team hanging out in the Athletes village in Beijing, but that’s exactly where Rowbust
banners, letters and hats were hung for the entire Olympic Softball tournament. The 2 teams became
bosom buddies after Coach Lori Sippel and myself hooked them up as part of a BC awareness softball
game to be played in Oklahoma, called the “Pink out” – Canada vs. USA. The Olympic team enjoyed the
Rowbust support [over 80 in numbers] at an exhibition game in Kitchener, and was involved with newly
formed friendships and story sharing after. We were bonded for good!!

As a coach, one cannot expect any more from athletes than the Rowbust crew gave during our first year
together. Confidence, dedication, work ethics, planning, organizing, and extracurricular activities were all
demonstrated with enthusiasm on and off the water. Sarah and I look forward to a very exciting 2009
season on and off the water!

Coaches Cheryl McLaclan & Sarah Shellard

Ontario Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Network Meeting
This year I had the privilege of attending my very first OBCDBN meeting along with Deb Lucy and Linda
Kuska (who also co-chaired the meeting). Some of you may wonder what this acronym represents. It stands
for the Ontario Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Network. I am proud to have learned that one of our very own
members Catherine Ebbs along with Eleanor Neilson (inspired "How to Ride a Dragon" by Michelle Tocher)
founded this group. Generally, representatives from breast cancer survivor dragon boat teams from across
Ontario get together to discuss various issues and exchange information. This year, however, was a unique
year as it was the first time representatives from out of province (Winnipeg and Montreal) attended. This
being their very first meeting (along with myself) they were very impressed with the suggestions put forth
with regards to their concerns as were the rest of us with the some of the information that they provided.

Some of the topics discussed were water safety, recruitment and commitment. Of course our favorite issue
was sport/recreational festivals. Sue Humphries from Dragon Boat Canada came to speak and give a brief
overview of how it came to be that we are hosting this sports division event. And then our team
representatives took over (Deb and Linda) and really promoted all of the wonderful things about the event,
letting everyone know that the race site will be the same site our Olympic Women's Rowing team practice
on and that Great White North will be running it. Also that we will be having community races, BCS
Recreational races and as an added option the Sports Division. There was much discussion that followed
regarding this new category (Sports Division) however, when all was said and done I think we all felt pretty
good about the how most of the team representatives responded. It was all good! Congratulations were
given to Peterborough, as they will now officially be hosting the 2010 International IBCDB Participatory
Festival. It was nice to know that all of their hard work paid off. Scott Murray from the Pickering Dragon Boat
Club was also a guest speaker who was there to introduce a new event known as the Breast Cancer
Paddling fundraiser. While this fun event is promoting our dragon boat sport it is also raising money that will
go to the breast cancer foundation.

In closing I will say that I was very glad that I had the opportunity to attend this very informative meeting. As
usual another bonus was "the food".

By Sonja Kramberger

       Poem by Hannah Kirwin, Age 8
(Hannah is the granddaughter of Millie Walters)

My grandma paddles in a dragon boat you know
With the wind going past she paddles really fast.
 They all lost their breast, but it’s for the best.
                  Go Grandma
                  Go Grandma
    Pick up the pace so we can win this race

       CIBC Run for the Cure - 3 Generations

CIBC Run For The Cure
By Pattie McClain
Rowbust Team Captain for Run for the Cure

On Sunday, October 5, 2008 we walked, we ran and we gave generously. Run for the Cure raised 28.5
million dollars. London’s run site alone raised $577,590.00. Rowbust raised $7,600.00 – another great

Thank you to the 24 women who were part of our Rowbust team. I have already pre-registered us for next
year, Sunday October 4, 2009.

Hope to see everyone there!

    Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure sets new benchmark - raising $28.5 million

A New Dragon Boat Paddler
By Tracy Kuipers

My first year as a member on the Rowbust Dragon Boat Team has been awesome! I vividly remember
driving to the Athletic Club to register for the 2008 Rowbust season. I was filled with fear and
trepidation….”Will I be able to do this?”….”Will they even want me on the team?”….”What am I doing? I
don’t even know what a dragon boat looks like!”        When I walked into the registration room my fears
vanished immediately as I was embraced by such a friendly bunch of ladies who warmly welcomed me to
the team.

On my first night of aerobics, I thought that I was going to die! Several women asked how I was doing during
and after the class. I think I must have looked a bit overwhelmed because they all smiled at me and said
that they had been where I was and promised that it would get better.

Probably the most profound firsts that I experienced on the Rowbust Team was my first poolside practices
with Cheryl and Sarah. Their method of teaching the perfect paddle stroke by breaking it down one frame at
a time, along with the catch phrases for success on the water were very powerful tools of learning for me. I
took everything that was said and used it in other areas of my life as well. Even when I was in the barn
facing a very difficult task, I would hear “push past the pain, don’t give in to it!” And then there were the
famous abdominal exercises…need I say more! All of these things were so good for my body and my mind.

Then came the first time I laid eyes on a dragon boat…. when we put the boat into Fanshawe Lake in the
spring. The ladies were so excited for me, Millie took off her life jacket and handed it to me and insisted that
I get into the boat and help paddle over to the dock.

Then came my very first race, which was in Pickering. I was told that this was the day that I would loose my
virginity…. with hundreds of people watching and cheering!!! Of course there were lots of jokes and stories
shared about everyone’s first time…. in a dragon boat race! I will never forget that day. When we crossed
the finish line…. I was ecstatic. I did it!!! I paddled through a race and I crossed the finish line! I was on
cloud nine! Then we found out that Rowbust had won Gold! It was icing on the cake for me. I was totally
thrilled to have completed a race and then to find out that we had won first place…. WOW!

Halifax was another highlight for me. We had an amazing time racing on the water, winning two golds and
enjoying some wonderful social time together as a team. It was a special blessing for me to have my
daughter and my friend come with me to Halifax. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined my
daughter standing on the shores cheering for me in a dragon boat race. It is a memory that I will cherish

Being on the Rowbust Team has greatly facilitated my recovery from breast cancer. I have been challenged
emotionally and physically by a group of strong, courageous women who continually challenge me to do my
best and to go to next level. I can hardly wait until the 2009 season!

Communications Committee
By Judy Leyshon

The Communications Committee has some new expertise to help guide us through the planning for next
year. We are delighted to announce that Mr. Dan Flaherty has agreed to act as our media advisor. A dinner
meeting hosted by Russ Highfield was held with Dan and members of Rowbust. Dan has agreed to come on
board. Thanks Russ for your generosity in hosting the meeting and Dan for agreeing to advise us. What
great support as we head into planning for next year!

Several community presentations have taken place this fall. Catherine Ebbs, a communications committee
member presented at a September meeting of the London Bosom Buddies at the downtown YMCA.
Catherine talked about her journey with breast cancer and her healing through love, laughter and giving
back. A feature of her presentation was to share the history and recent events of Rowbust. She talked about
the trip to Halifax and what fun the team had. Catherine also presented at the Elmhurst Inn in October to
150 women who attended the Oxford County Women's Wellness Day. Much talk of Rowbust occurred with
women expressing great interest in learning about the team. Catherine also was interviewed for an online
web magazine about her community involvement supporting other breast cancer survivors. Her
involvement in Rowbust as a forum for bringing women together was included in that interview.

Rowbust is very fortunate to have a new, multi-talented member join us this year. Ingrid Dobson of
'Indie Design House' is a graphic artist and has provided the team with logos for our 10th Anniversary
celebrations as well as artwork for our upcoming cookbook and advertising. She and husband Dave have
generously donated their time, creativity and knowledge to create a 10th Anniversary website that is keeping
everyone up-to-date on the plans and events.

                                           Relay for Life, London

                                             Upcoming Events 2009
Annual General Meeting ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan 17
Rowbust’s 10-Year Anniversary Celebration ----------------------------------------------------------- Aug 14, 15, 16
National Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Festival -------------------------------------------------- Aug 15, 16

Rowbust Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team is preparing for its 10-year Anniversary
to commemorate the founding of London’s only “all” Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team. Next
summer, we will be the cordial hosts to many visiting Breast Cancer Survivor Teams. In August 2009, all of
                                        the attending breast cancer teams will participate at the London
                                        Dragon Boat Festival held at Fanshawe Lake.

                                              Please help sponsor our sisterhood of Breast Cancer
                                              Survivors. It truly will be a wonderful event! Rowbust is hoping
                                              to begin the celebrations with a Gala Dinner, accompanied by
                                              informational Guest Speakers and Educational Seminars throughout
                                              the weekend.

                                              Our Rowbust ladies reside in four counties, Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford
                                              and Perth.

                                              Sponsorship and funding from our Communities is desperately
                                              needed, as we are a non-profit, charitable organization.

Learn more about us on our website or contact us by email.

“Thank you, for your support! “

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much!


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