• “When you push off from the dock … we’re all in the same boat. 
    This isn’t about cancer anymore. It’s about exercise and health and the rest of your life. 
    When we push off we’re paddling away from breast cancer.” 

    - Dr. Don McKenzie, Founder, Abreast In A Boat 
  • “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain!” 

    - Vivian Greene 
  • “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” 

    - T.H. Thompson & John Watson 
  • “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. 
    The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’ 

    - Nelson Mandela 
Behind the Cape Grace Hotel, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
Mondays 17h30 for 18h00 and Saturdays 07h30 for 08h00

Belles Stories » Pam Newby

Pam Newby

I have been deeply involved with dragonboating ever since entering a fun regatta between running clubs in 1995. I have been fortunate to participate in numerous World Championships and Internationals in Europe and the Far East.

It was at the Club Crew World Champs in Rome where I was helming for the SA premier open and mixed teams that I first encountered “pink ladies”. There were several BCS teams including a particularly extrovert friendly group of Aussies from Adelaide, Dragons Abreast! Their helm (sweep) Vicky had had a hysterectomy (on top of everything else) only a month before and here she was trying to helm! At times this brave lady couldn’t even stand, so I was asked to help out by helming for her team. This brought both teams very close and I promised on parting that I would start a BCS team back home in South Africa. I made three concerted attempts, in 2002, 2003 and 2004, but it was only on my forth try in April 2006 that I finally met two people in the oncological world, Barbara and Pam of sanofi aventis, who were interested in my goal of starting a BCS team.

I find being involved with such wonderful lovely ladies, my amaBele Belles, a very enriching experience and I am so delighted that by pulling together, the Belles managed to raise the funds to make it affordable for the team to go to the 1st BCS World Champs in Singapore. There they experienced the incredible strength, friendship, support and exuberance for life that binds Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon-boaters world-wide. May this be just the first of many trips we make together.

I was born in British Somaliland 18th November – never mind which year, and grew up in England, Tanganyika, England, Malawi, England, New Zealand, and finally South Africa (Natal). I am a web master and computer literacy teacher, prior to this I lectured Zoology at university for 5 years and taught matric Biology for 9 years . I have B.Sc., Hons., M.Sc. (Zoology)(Natal). My Masters thesis was on cavernicolous microchiropteran behaviour & reproduction. (ie bats!). Sadly, I am divorced.