Pinc and Steel is a charitable organisation supporting cancer rehabilitation. A popular new group programme in Taranaki is making paddleboarding accessible for patients who have had cancer.
“The programme, called Paddle On, runs for eight lessons. We take a group to Lake Ngangana for paddleboarding. We do exercises to improve balance, upper body strength and leg strength. Then there are the mental health benefits of exercising and being on the water. We had seven participants and their average age was 69 years,” Jacinta Harrison, Physiotherapist, said.
“It was the first course in Taranaki of its kind but we needed equipment to make it happen. Each individual doing the course needs a paddle board, a life jacket, a paddle and a leash. We need large boards because the majority of our people need that extra stability. It costs roughly $3,000 to set up the equipment for an individual.”
“We were able to run the course for a cost of just $5 per session. Pinc and Steel funded most of the course. They provided us with the equipment but we had to buy extra boards.”
A grant of $5k from Toi Foundation assisted with funding three sets of equipment.
As well as group programmes, Pinc and Steel offer rehabilitation on a one-on-one basis with a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist that's trained in cancer or oncology rehabilitation. It could be physical training or it could be mental and emotional support.
“None of the group had tried paddleboarding before. For most of them, it was an opportunity that they wouldn't have had otherwise, given what they've been through. Life has a new perspective for them,” Jacinta said.