BCS - Breast Cancer Survivors
It all started in 1996 when a Canadian sports medical specialist, Dr Don McKenzie, embarked on a research project to explore the benefits of regular, repetitive, strenuous exercise following breast cancer surgery.
His research centred on enhancing lymph flow to increase the effectiveness of the immune system and insisted the project should be in a pleasing and socially supportive environment.
McKenzie started a Dragon Boat team which the participants named “Abreast in a Boat”! It was groundbreaking research and the results were hugely successful. The participants all showed better mental and physical health and loved the camaraderie and support of fellow paddlers. They realised it was a means to raise awareness of breast cancer and the ability of survivors to lead normal lives so invited other survivors to share the experience and they went on to compete in races.
The BCS movement now has teams in USA, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, Singapore, Italy, Poland as well as several in the UK.
In Great Britain it all started in 2004 in Liverpool, with the Pool of Life BCS crew which was setup with the help of Amathus Dragon Boat Club and they continue to train with Amathus to this day.
Since then there have been a steady increase in BCS crews in the UK, now including Worcester Busters, part of Worcester Dragons, and Pink Champagne.
There are now over 200 BCS crews around the world who take part in International Racing Festivals against other BCS crews as well as, in Great Britain, they also race against other Dragon Boat crews at race events throughout the year.