PATIENTS recovering from cancer are playing their way back to fitness thanks to the health benefits of walking football.
And the programme, introduced by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, is going from strength to strength.
Patients who have received or are receiving treatment from Worcestershire Oncology Centre are invited to the monthly get together.
The matches are held at Perdiswell Leisure Centre in collaboration with Macmillan and the Worcestershire Football Association.
The latest event gave previous patients a chance to meet up again for another match whilst introducing new patients to the group.
There were 13 cancer patients who attended, including some from Evesham and Pershore, many of whom brought their partners and family along.
Mark Atterbury, aged 57 who was diagnosed and the end of last year said: “I get such a buzz watching other patients like myself really enjoying the football it means a lot to me being so involved.”
The event offers an alternative to the standard cancer support groups and the newly named Worcestershire Oncology Walking Football Club (WOW FC) encourages patients to come together and form friendships through their shared experiences whilst enjoying a friendly game of football.
Treatment radiographer, Dan Bloomer said: “It has been fantastic to see bonds created both on and off the pitch, with newly diagnosed patients being able to seek social support from patients who have previously undergone radiotherapy treatment.”
Playing walking football ups the heart rate and helps keep patients in good condition pre- and post-radiotherapy treatment.
There is also the psychological benefit for remaining active throughout treatment and diagnosis.