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New Exercise Initiative to 'Revitalise' Somerset

Posted: Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:48

New Exercise Initiative to 'Revitalise' Somerset

On the 10th March Macmillan Cancer Support and Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) launched a new exercise initiative designed to help local people living with cancer to be more active. 'Revitalise' was launched by rising stars Eddie Byrom and Tom Banton from Somerset County Cricket Club, along with Mayor of Taunton Deane, Councillor Hazel Prior-Sankey with a 3 mile parade from Somerset County Cricket Club finishing at Taunton Rugby Club. Over 40 people joined them in the symbolic walk to highlight the importance of exercise for wellbeing and recovery. Walkers included staff from the chemotherapy, radiotherapy and urology departments at Musgrove Park Hospital and members of Taunton Vale Hockey Club, Taunton Town Football Club, Taunton Athletic Club, Blackbrook Tennis Centre, Taunton Vale Sports Club and Huish Tigers Basketball Club.

Revitalise is a new initiative, driven by Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support. It is a network of activity sessions, available across Somerset, that promote physical activity and exercise for people affected by cancer and their families. The sessions are led by trainers from local leisure providers who are trained to work with people with cancer but the sessions are open to the whole community.

Catherine Neck, Macmillan Cancer Rehabilitation Lead explained "The aim of Revitalise is to encourage local people living with and beyond cancer to get out there and be more active. We know that physical activity and exercise are essential for wellbeing and help to reduce debilitating side effects from cancer treatment, such as fatigue. The sessions aren't just for people with cancer though, which means friends and family can go too and they can get back to normal life as quickly as possible and play an active role in their own recovery."

Jen Slade, Inclusive Projects Manager, Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership added "The sessions are led by instructors who have been trained to work with people who have cancer and are able to adapt activities to suit them. By taking part with their partner, friends or family members participants can enjoy exercising together which makes it more likely to become part of their lifestyle. There is also a wide range of activities too from park walks, zumba, pilates, yoga, gym classes, walking football, clubbercise so there is something for everyone regardless of your ability and fitness level."

Macmillan Cancer Support wants to ensure that people living with cancer are supported to become physically active, both before, during and after their treatment. A growing body of evidence shows it can play a vital role in helping to prevent a recurrence, slow disease progression as well as mitigating the side effects and consequences of cancer treatment such as fatigue. Feedback from patients has also shown that physical activity can boost confidence, and allows them to take back some control of their lives following a cancer diagnosis.

The day had a personal connection for Stewart Collins, Adult Participation Manager, Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership. "Cancer has now knocked at my door twice. Remaining physically active throughout the treatments has enabled me to feel I am in control, that cancer is not going to define me or affect how I live my life. It has taught me that 'normality' is not only possible, it is easily achievable and socially I do not have to isolate myself and people do not have to treat me any differently to anyone else. Another factor is that I am eternally grateful to the army of researchers, doctors and nurses who have worked miracles to keep me here, and the very least I can do is keep myself in the best possible physical and mental condition to assist them. Anything else would be simply insulting!"

To find out more about Revitalise and to see which activities are available click here.

Tags: Adult Participation, Cricket, Disability

Partners and Sponsors

Partners and Sponsors

  • Sport England
    Sports Coach UK
    Somerset Chamber of Commerce
    Zing Somerset
    Somerset Skills & Learning
  • CPSU