We chatted with Connor Massimo, co-founder at Pulse Physiotherapy and team captain of the Pulse Physiotherapy Paddlers, the 2017 community Regatta Champions, to learn more about why they're paddling.
Tell us about your team and how long you've been involved.
Our team is made up of mostly staff members from Pulse Physiotherapy and their significant others, [and] some long-time friends of the clinic to fill help fill the boat. This will be our third year participating in the Dragon Boat Festival. We have had such a great time over the first two years that we plan to make this an annual tradition. It is a great opportunity to do something active in the community that raises funds for such a deserving cause. We also use it as a team-building event and have a backyard BBQ and pool party afterward to fully enjoy the day!
What motivated you to join the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival?
We decided to participate for the first time 3 years ago because we were in our second year as a business and wanted to start a yearly tradition early on to help raise money for a deserving cause. Everyone knows someone who has been impacted by breast cancer and we love that the funds are all used locally at PRHC. Being a physiotherapy clinic, we also wanted to donate to a cause that promotes physical activity and wellness. We couldn't find a more deserving cause than Peterborough's Dragon Boat Festival and we have been very happy participants ever since.
Have any of you experienced cancer or had loved ones who went through it?
All of our team members have been impacted in some way by cancer. This year, we are dedicating our races to Connor's aunt Rose. Rose was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer at the age of 49. Unfortunately,
she lost her battle a few months ago after a courageous fight
with a very aggressive form of cancer. She was the music teacher at St. Mary's high school in Cobourg, was a loving wife to her husband Tim and an amazing mother to her daughter Jessie. Rose is dearly missed and this year we will be paddling for her.
Are you hoping to beat your fundraising total from last year?
We are hoping to increase our total amount to $2,000 this year. We have challenged each team member to raise $100. If we each reach that goal, we will break the goal of $2,000!
Do you have any preparation tips to share with new participants?
For new participants, some friendly tips would be: get as many team members as possible to your practice, timing is more important than strength, keep paddling hard all the way through the finish line, it is a great day: have fun.
What makes race day extra special for your team?
The best part of the day each year is just being outside with so many great individuals from our community. Seeing how hard the organizers and volunteers work to make sure everything goes off without a hitch is truly inspiring. We can't wait until June 9th to get back out on the water and compete again this year!