The first ever Stewart Park, 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer group took place on Saturday 29th June and was a big success, with those taking part enjoying the sunshine and enjoying the opportunity to exercise and socialise with a supportive group.
The run has been set up to support those living with and beyond cancer, their families, friends and those working in cancer services. Participants can walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer, whatever way they take part they will be supporting each other.
The event is linked to the Stewart Park parkrun on the last Saturday of every month and everyone is encouraged to socialise after over a drink and cake at Henry’s café. Essentially, an active coffee morning combining fresh air, movement and socialising.
Physical activity has been shown to have a number of important benefits for people living with cancer. It reduces cancer related fatigue, helps to preserve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness and improves psychological well-being. It may also reduce treatment side effects, reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and prolong survival. However, despite these benefits, a NHS report found that only 23% of people living with cancer achieve the recommended 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 times per week. The 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer initiative linked to parkrun, provides the opportunity to do this.
The Stewart Park 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer group is run by Clare Yates & Jo Casson. Clare & Jo are both nurses at Teesside Hospice and see the difference physical activity makes to their patients.
Pictures: Clare & Jo, Nurses at Teesside Hospice and 5k Your Way Ambassadors
Clare who had breast cancer herself in 2017 said: “Exercise and its benefits played a huge part in my recovery. It gave me a focus, helped clear my mind and made me feel more in control of my body. Jo and I were thrilled to learn of 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer, which combines a cancer support group with the parkrun, we just had to get involved and are proud to be ambassadors.”
Founded by oncology consultant and 12 times ironman champion Lucy Gossage, and Gemma Hillier-Moses, International Runner and Founder of MOVE charity who was diagnosed with cancer herself at the age of 24 in 2012. There are currently 5K Your Way groups at over 40 locations across the UK and 3 in the Republic of Ireland. New members are welcomed whether walking, jogging, running or just coming for a coffee and a chat. Friendships are cementing, and a supportive community is being built. And the snowball has begun to roll, as people see the value in creating a 5K Your Way Move Against Cancer group in their local community. A strong collaboration with parkrun and support from the wonderful community of parkrun volunteers is facilitating this growth.
Those interested in joining the group are encouraged to register with 5k Your Way and parkrun via the following link: https://5kyourway.org/register before meeting at 08:45 on the last Saturday of every month. For further information visit https://5kyourway.org/
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