The new and exciting Move More Aberdeen programme was launched to press and public on Monday 8th June. This, the latest programme to be launched under the Move More Scotland banner, provides people affected by cancer in Aberdeen City the opportunity to ‘move more and feel better’.
The launch event at Torry Youth and leisure centre was host to over 50 influential people from the fields of cancer care, physical activity, and public health. There were representatives from partners and supporters of the programme at Macmillan Cancer Support, Sport Aberdeen, CLAN Cancer Support, Paths for All and NHS Grampian. The Lord Provost George Adam was also a guest at the event. The most distinguished guests, however, were not the dignitaries but the superb volunteers and participants of the Move More Aberdeen programme.
A series of short speeches was delivered to highlight some important elements of the programme: The partnership between Macmillan and Sport Aberdeen (Janice Preston, Macmillan’s General Manager for Scotland and Duncan Sinclair, Operational Director at Sport Aberdeen); the research evidence for physical activity in cancer (Dr Anna Campbell, Associate Professor at Napier University) and its benefits for people affected by cancer in clinical practice (Dr Trevor McGoldrick, Consultant medical oncologist, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary).
Dr McGoldrick said “The oncologists in Grampian are delighted to support this important initiative. There is mounting evidence to support the role of increased physical activity in patients affected by cancer. Not only may increased physical activity reduce the side effects of cancer treatments and improve quality of life but excitingly may also possibly reduce the risk for cancer recurrence and improve survival from cancer.”
The speeches delivered by professionals and experts were interesting and illuminating, but were eclipsed by the real world experiences of the first Move More Aberdeen volunteers and participants which brought the whole event to life and demonstrated powerfully why it is we do what we do. Clare McWilliams and Esther Milne, (Move More Aberdeen volunteers), told of how they had gained much more than they had given through being a volunteer on the programme and how they have loved doing something really positive to help people affected by cancer ‘move more’. Stuart Clark and Gemma Bicocchi spoke passionately about how physical activity has helped them to overcome the difficulties of cancer and its gruelling treatment and to regain a better quality of life, reduce the isolation of the disease and return gradually to their normal activities.
The launch of the new Move More Aberdeen programme is momentous step. It marks a great advancement in the delivery of community-based cancer care in Aberdeen City, bringing physical activity to the frontline in the fight against cancer and its long-term effects. It will ensure that more people affected by cancer can get more active more often and enjoy the benefits that inevitably brings.