Welcome to the ywca encore website

ywca encore is a free 8-week program for women who have experienced breast cancer.

YWCA Encore is an exercise program designed specifically for women who have experienced mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast reconstruction surgery at any time in their lives. Based around land and pool exercises, it is safe, fun and therapeutic. Encore can help you strengthen and tone your arms, shoulders and chest, regain mobility, and improve your general fitness.

We know that after surgery, many women experience numbness, pins and needles, loss of mobility, and discomfort in their upper bodies. Encore can help relieve these problems through specifically tailored after breast cancer surgery exercises.

We aim to help you:

  • Improve health and quality of life
  • Improve fitness, mobility and strength
  • Reduce the risk of developing breast cancer treatment-related side effects including pain, fatigue and lymphodema
  • Reduce or manage side effects of breast cancer treatment including pain, fatigue and lymphodema
  • Relieve stress and tension
  • Have more information on breast cancer resources, healthy living choices and links to local service providers. 
  • Improve body image and self esteem
  • Restore a sense of control
  • Have an opportunity to share experiences with other women who have been treated for breast cancer
  • Enjoy laughter, relaxation and fun!

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In the past 30 years approximately 10,000 women around Australia have completed the ywca encore program.

History of YWCA Encore


ywca encore was originally developed in the USA in the 1970s by a ballet teacher who had experienced breast cancer and saw the need to help other women with similar experiences to rebuild their physical and emotional strength. The program was set up and expanded through YWCA USA.

ywca encore came to Australia in 1983 and 2013 sees ywca encore celebrate 30 years in Australia. The ywca encore program also operates in New Zealand, Canada and Japan.