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Paddle On

PaddleOn is a stand up paddle (SUP) rehabilitation program, for men and women recovering from all types of cancer. 

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Delivered over 5-weeks by certified Pinc or Steel cancer rehabilitation

physiotherapists, PaddleOn has been specifically designed to introduce the components of stand up paddling in a safe, fun small group environment.

It is divided into 8 modules to improve balance, core strength, posture, upper body strength, flexibility and fitness.

Participants need to have completed primary cancer treatment (surgery/chemotherapy/radiotherapy) before starting the program. A support person is also able to join you on the program.

How to take part plus
  • Register with your local Pinc or Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Physio, who may need to conduct an assessment screen to make sure your strength, balance and overall health is sufficient to safely take part on the program.
  • After screening you will attend two scheduled on-water sessions with a Physio and SUP Instructor every week for 4 weeks, with the last session being an adventure paddle that gives you a chance to explore a different location, and introduce your family or friends to SUP. Allow five weeks to complete the program in case of poor weather.
What does it cost? plus
  • The program cost is subsidised by the PINC & STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Trust, the assessment screen is fully funded and there is and $5 surcharge for each module, making the total cost to participants only $40 for the whole program.
  • A support person can join you for a cost of $20 per lesson.
  • Starboard SUP boards, paddles, leashes and lifejackets are provided.

Regain strength and fitness - Improve balance - Boost confidence - Learn to stand up paddle

PaddleOn programs are running from November to March in Auckland City, North Shore, Orewa, Warkworth, Napier, Taupo, Rotorua and Whangarei.
Special thanks to Starboard NZ, Victoria Stuart and Karin Horen for their vision and ongoing support of the PaddleOn Program.

quotes-dark An increasing amount of research is indicating that exercise is beneficial in recovery from cancer surgery and treatment. For many it is also a valuable way of managing fatigue and long-term health goals.

Lou James, Founder

Find out how others have found the PaddleOn Program.

Testimonial from Helen plus

"My heartfelt thanks to the PaddleOn team for the opportunity to take part in your incredibly uplifting programme. Becoming a paddle-boarder through PaddleOn has had a profoundly positive impact on my life. I've really enjoyed learning to paddle in such a supportive environment, and bonding with a group of women with shared challenges has been one of the biggest benefits. I've also appreciated the outstanding instruction from your dedicated team of instructors.  Knowing how important it is to be active after treatment, paddle-boarding has given me an amazing form of low impact exercise in the outdoors, which I love and look forward to each time I go out on the water.
 
PaddleOn has given me the confidence and resilience to achieve things I didn't think I was capable of and inspired me to live life to the fullest. It's imperative that your programme continues to receive support so that more women can access the rehabilitative benefits of paddle-boarding. I've already recommended the programme to women who are currently undergoing breast cancer treatment and will continue to spread the word about your amazing programme."
In appreciation, Helen Wakefield

Testimonial from Nat plus

"I am so thankful that I found out about PINC & STEEL.  I have found their programmes life-changing and affirming. The initial physiotherapy sessions with Megan boosted my physical and emotional body confidence. Her gentle, nurturing sessions gave me the confidence to then apply for 'Paddle-On'. The course was wonderful. It was beautifully constructed to introduce us to skills and techniques designed to increase our confidence week by week. It stretched me and encouraged me to trust my body: to feel the fear and do it anyway. More importantly, it was fun and body affirming!
Paddle-On' is so much more than learning to paddle board (although it teaches this superbly). It is intrinsically about physical and mental self belief; about providing a supportive environment where the mind and body can work together to affirm the person and their identity. Months of treatment, surgery and the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis affect physical and mental well-being; Paddle-On and other rehabilitative courses like those offered through PINC & Steel help to rebuild and restore this well-being."  
Natalie Jameson

Testimonial from Susan plus

"I have never thought of myself as athletic, so I had to be persuaded to try paddle boarding with Megan and Victoria. In the beginning I was nervous, but under their kind and professional guidance I found an inner strength that I didn't know I possessed. After three lessons I decided to buy my own board! I feel empowered by my new found skill. I feel strong and balanced and the energy and joy I feel from being on the water, carries through into the rest of my life. I have found a new way of being and I am eternally grateful."
Susan Macklin

Testimonial from Dean plus

"After the isolation I felt during cancer treatment, it was good to meet other women and embark on learning a new skill
together.  What an inspirational group of women, whose positivity was infectious! We shared a sense of achievement
following our paddle adventure and I noted the smiles all around.  

I looked forward to each session as we learnt new skills focusing on rebuilding strength, flexibility, balance and
concentration with a focus on health and wellbeing.  PaddleOn helped me regain confidence in my body again and I
also noticed my mood, sleep and energy improve, together with a renewed enthusiasm for life. The concentration
required of learning a new skill was also a gentle work out for my brain and helped with residual "chemo brain".  

PaddleOn has reawakened my sense of adventure.  It has given me the confidence to try new things that I would never had
thought possible a few months ago.  I've finally stepped back into living life fully.   

I would recommend Paddle On to anyone who has been through cancer treatment and wants to have fun, learn a new skill,
connect with others and improve health and wellbeing."
Dean Louise Stewart

Frequently asked questions

Who can do it? plus

Men and women of all ages, who have undergone treatment for any type of cancer, and who have finished primary cancer treatments*.
All participants are required to first undergo a free medical screen by their PINC or STEEL physiotherapist to determine whether their strength, balance and overall health is sufficient to safely take part in the programme.

What if I have metastatic or secondary cancer? plus

Please see your Pinc and Steel physio, they will be able to assess on an individual basis if the program is suitable for you.

When can I do it? plus

The 5-Week Programs are running from November to March. Each program is eight modules, so you will be paddling two mornings a week.
You need to have completed your primary cancer treatment (surgery/chemotherapy/radiotherapy) before starting the program.

How do I sign-up? plus

Click on the register button at the top of the page to be directed to your local Pinc and Steel Physio for an initial assessment screen.

Why stand up paddle boarding (SUP)? plus

Firstly, it’s a fun outdoor activity, well-suited to the beautiful beaches and lakes we have in New Zealand.   Secondly, when done properly it is a great workout for the whole body including upper body, lower body and core strength, shoulder and mid back mobility, balance and stamina, which are the areas most in need of rehab after cancer treatment.  SUP is also a great social activity, which we hope you will continue to enjoy after this program.

Do I have to be a good swimmer? plus

No.  You need to be able to float and feel comfortable in and around the water, but you will be wearing a safety vest and will have a physiotherapist and SUP instructor with you.

How do I know if SUP is right for me? plus

You will have the opportunity to attend a free screening session with a physiotherapist who will check that your strength, flexibility and balance are good enough to start the course.

How long will the PaddleOn screens take? plus

The screening with a cancer rehab physiotherapist will take between 20 and 30 minutes.

What do I need to bring? plus

Only comfortable clothes to exercise in, a towel, water bottle and snack food.  All SUP gear, including board, paddle, leash and safety vest, will be provided.  In the very rare possibility that you get wet, it is advisable to bring some extra clothes to change into.

What about the weather? plus

We have allowed 2 extra weeks in case a session is postponed because of weather.  Some sessions can be done indoors if needed.  Your physiotherapist will contact you if there is a change to the scheduled program.

What does it cost? plus

The 5 week program is subsidised thanks to funds raised by the Pinc & Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Trust and support from Starboard.  There assessment screen is fully funded and there is small $5 surcharge for each lesson. 

Who can I contact for more information? plus

Your local PINC & STEEL physiotherapist can answer questions about your health and involvement in the program. All you need to do is register for the program at the top of this page and then you will receive more information about how to contact the Physiotherapist involved in running the program in your region.
Please feel free to share this information with your GP or healthcare team if you discuss PaddleOn with them.  We would be happy to answer their questions too.

In 2015 the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Trust carried out a Pilot Study to evaluate the health and psychological outcomes of the PaddleOn Program, with a group of women who had undergone treatment for breast cancer.
Overall, the participants reported improvement in a range of quality of life measures including those relating to fatigue, mood and memory, and improvements in body and general confidence, strength and balance.

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