Auckland and Napier waterways will be filled with a new generation of stand pp paddlers this week as the pilot program of Paddle On comes to an end. The eight week program involved teaching stand-up paddling (SUP) to breast cancer survivors and was designed specifically for cancer rehabilitation.

The program was a collaboration between leading cancer physiotherapist and founder of the PINC and STEEL program Lou James and Victoria Stuart of Starboards NZ. Their vision was to help people who had been affected by breast cancer regain optimal physical, emotional and social wellbeing be developing a safe and fun group exercise program. Over 50 women from around Auckland took part in the Pilot program. Each week they took to the water with a trained PINC physiotherapist and SUP instructor and for many of them, this was their very first experience with SUP.

Megan Schmidt, PINC physiotherapist from the North Shore, was amazed at the transformation in such a short period of time. “The majority of these women had never even tried SUP and to see them grow in confidence, strength and ability week by week and each time with a massive smile on their face, it was such a pleasure to be part of such an innovative program”

The fully funded pilot program was made possible by funds raised in the 2014 Paddle For Hope event. Data on the program is currently being collated and it is hoped that the Paddle On program will be introduced into more regions within the next 12 months.

For more information about PINC and STEEL please visit

28 April 2015

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