Walking football match at Active Luton

The Macmillan physical activity team spent our recent away day playing walking football against a group on the Active Luton ‘Move More’ exercise programme for people affected by cancer.

Walking football is a simple but ingenious, slow-paced adaptation of the traditional game that does not allow running or jogging. It’s harder than it sounds, or even looks; actively trying not to jog or run is difficult and the resulting brisk/power walking really gets your heart rate up!

Luton’s own former boxing champion Billy Schwer, an ambassador for the ‘Move More’ programme, was in attendance on the day and took part in the match.

Billy, himself a vocal advocate for reversing poor health through good nutrition and regular activity, said: “I feel proud to be able to support such a fantastic programme. I believe that a combination of physical, mental and nutritional health will aid prevention and recovery of any disease”

“This programme gives the tools to help people fight against cancer. You only have to look at the participants today to see the benefits that they are getting from the scheme.”

Helen Barnett, Active Luton Chief Executive, added: “The feedback on this programme has been overwhelmingly positive and is making such a difference to people’s lives.

Luton is not the only project Macmillan supports to have adopted walking football into their programme with a positive reception. The Dorset, Berkshire and Shropshire sites have successful walking football groups.

Just last week BBC News mentioned walking football as one of many unusual ways to be more active, you can read about it here: http://bbc.in/1y2Tc6O

All you need to facilitate walking football are some goals (or cones) an indoor or outdoor space, a referee and some bibs! The idea of walking can also be incorporated into other sports such as walking Netball, Walking basket ball or walking ‘touch rugby’.

Be sure to contact us and give us your thoughts if you try walking football or another adapted sport at physicalactivity@Macmillan.org.uk or on our twitter at @Macmovemore

Knowledge exchange workshops

 

IMG_1151With the festive season upon us and projects in full planning mode for 2015, last week we delivered two Knowledge Exchange Workshops, one in Luton at the Inspire Facility and one in Manchester at the Manchester Giants Basketball Club Training Venue. The events brought together over 50 key stakeholders including Physical Activity Project Leads, Sports Development Officers, Senior Lecturers, Expert Advisors, Physiotherapists, Macmillan Development Managers and Service Users. There were representatives from across the UK in attendance that came from far and wide to hear what the hosts had to say about their exciting projects. The format of the day included a national Physical Activity update, host project update and an opportunity in the afternoon for projects to share their key successes and challenges and lessons learnt along the way.

Workshop attendees got a little extra physical activity as a lunchtime walk was led by our Walking for Health team to the local Chill Factor Snow dome in Manchester and the Luton attendees got free activity vouchers for the pool and gym.

As a result of the workshops we will be creating a knowledge hub where resources, tools and information can be accessed and shared, giving an opportunity to facilitate networking opportunities for those with a role in running and supporting Physical Activity projects for people affected by cancer.

Knowledge exchange workshops are free one day interactive events led by Macmillan’s Physical Activity team across the UK on a quarterly basis. Some of the feedback we have received from workshop included:

“an insightful workshop inspirational speech on exercise benefits for cancer #lifechanging #movemore

“very useful and enjoyable in terms of networking and sharing information”

“The workshop today was marvellous, keep the learning going”

“Fantastic #physicalactivity meeting held today by @MacMoveMore lots of sharing good practice and networking!”

Following the positive feedback from the people who attended the workshop we will be holding additional workshops across the UK on a quarterly basis.  The next two available workshops are Berkshire 11th March 2015 and Sheffield June 2015. Workshops are filled on a first come first served basis so if you are interested in sharing best practise and solutions with like-minded others contact physicalactivity@macmillan.org.uk to book a place.