Organisers of what may be Australia's first physical activity and health program for children and young people affected by cancer are calling for participants.
Named Thriving, the joint program between The University of Western Australia and CanTeen helps cancer patients with their physical and emotional recovery and enables them to adapt to changes in their physical capabilities. It also promotes the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and provides links to ongoing community-based programs.
Open to people aged from 10 to 25 years who have recently been diagnosed with cancer, who are in treatment or whose treatment has finished, the program offers both 10-week courses and three-day workshops. The first 10-week course begins on 15 January and the workshops will be held throughout the year.
For younger age-groups, the focus will be on physical activity and movement skills, including the skills they will need when rejoining school sporting and recreational activities.
Lifelong physical activity and health education will be the focus for older age-groups, with the promotion of a realistic plan for the future maintenance of positive health behaviours.
Thriving provides a high level of one-on-one instruction for people with significant movement deficiencies. Instructors will be able to pass on information to carers and teachers to help in the progression of physical movement.
Exercise physiologist and program coordinator Bonnie Furzer said the program was unique in Australia in its focus on physical rehabilitation.
Thriving will be launched with the help of CanTeen (the organisation for young people living with cancer) at UWA's School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health from 10am on Saturday December 18 (Parkway Entrance 3). Patients, families, friends and carers are invited to attend.