Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland, the unique outdoor-based programme specifically designed for women who have, or have had, breast cancer, has announced that its first retreat for Northern Ireland will be held at Brookhall Trout Fishery in Co Antrim from 19th – 21st September 2008, and is inviting patients to apply for a place.

Casting for Recovery provides fly fishing programmes at idyllic retreats around the UK and Ireland. The first retreat of its kind in England took place at the Duncton Mill Retreat in West Sussex in September 2007 and was a resounding success.  Retreats are planned for Wales in April, Northern Ireland in September and the Republic of Ireland and Scotland in 2009.

Any woman who has experienced breast cancer is eligible to apply to attend a retreat (with medical clearance from their doctor).  Retreats are provided at no cost to participants due to the financial backing of the Countryside Alliance Ireland, and include accommodation, meals, counselling, and professional instruction.  Trained medical staff and fly fishing instructors are on hand at all times and the fishing tackle is provided by Orvis.

Fly fishing offers proven benefits for recovering breast cancer patients.  The casting action provides the gentle exercise recommended by physiotherapists for joint and soft tissue mobility.   Fly fishing also offers participants a chance to reflect and escape in tranquil surroundings.  Casting for Recovery was founded in the United States in 1996 and has since helped almost 3,000 breast cancer survivors. 

The UK and Ireland Programme Co-ordinator is Sue Hunter, who recovered from breast cancer to become an international gold medallist fly fisher.   Sue said:  “The first retreat was a huge success and we are all looking forward to bringing the Casting for Recovery initiative to Northern Ireland. The courses are open to ladies of all ages who have, or have had, breast cancer and are absolutely free thanks to Countryside Alliance Ireland’s generous backing. I am very much looking forward to meeting many brave ladies later this year – we are promised a very warm welcome at Brookhall. ”