The programme sees the Club charity’s specialist cancer rehabilitation instructors deliver free sessions at selected Fusion Leisure Centres across North London for adults living with and beyond cancer in Haringey or Enfield.
Nacer Chadli, Tottenham Hotspur’s Belgian international midfielder, helped celebrate the milestone at White Hart Lane today, sampling the sessions that the programme offers and meeting those that have benefitted from ACE.
The 25-year-old took part in seated aerobics sessions, stretching and relaxation exercises and a smoothie-making workshop alongside participants.
Chadli said: “This is a project that is close to my heart and I am extremely proud of the work my Club and Macmillan Cancer Support are doing to help improve the wellbeing of so many people who have been affected by cancer.
“It is inspiring for me to meet people who are living with or have been affected by cancer but are remaining positive and doing what they can to fight it with the help of this fantastic project.
“I would encourage anyone in North London living with or beyond cancer to find out about Macmillan’s ACE and get involved because I believe it can change lives for the better.”
Haringey and Enfield is home to almost 7,000 people living with cancer. Every day 80 people in London hear the devastating news they have cancer, and 38 people die from the illness. There are currently over 219,400 people living with or beyond cancer in the capital and this figure will double by 2030.
Evidence suggests that physical activity after treatment for cancer can reduce the impact of a number of side effects and in some cases help prevent the cancer reoccurring.
Differing considerably from typical exercise sessions offered by local gyms, Macmillan ACE gives people affected by cancer the support and motivation to be active, focusing on gentle exercises that promote a steady progression. Through a combination of cycling, walking and circuits, progress is monitored over a 12 week period where participants are encouraged to reach personal goals.
Haringey-based Tina was just one of 150 people to benefit from the programme. Diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2012, Tina had to undergo six months of immobilising chemotherapy, followed by a further two years of maintenance treatment.
Now in remission, Tina said: “I put on a lot of weight during my treatment due to the steroids and the chemotherapy I received to fight my cancer. I also suffer from disc problems so I found it very hard to take up any kind of fitness regime on my own.
“Being part of the ACE programme helped as I would not have done any exercise by myself - I had lost all confidence and felt too embarrassed to join the gym. I am now able to walk further and I know if I keep doing what my instructor showed me I will get better and fitter.
“I wish to thank everyone from Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Macmillan for all their support on this programme. It has changed my life.”
Nikki Cannon, Senior Macmillan Development Manager, said: “At Macmillan Cancer Support, we care passionately about making sure that anyone affected by cancer has the best possible chance of recovery, so we are delighted that the ACE programme is making a real difference to people living with and beyond the disease.
“We know that exercise has a powerful part to play in helping people feel more confident, happier and more like themselves again after a cancer diagnosis. Becoming more active during and after cancer treatment can have many vital health benefits, such as pain relief or reducing fatigue and even in some cases, significantly reducing the risk of dying from the disease.
“Macmillan is thrilled that our partnership with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has created this fantastic scheme which has already helped so many people in only its first year.”
Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive Officer of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “Tottenham Hotspur is committed to using its place at the heart of the community to support people living with and beyond cancer. With one in three people affected by cancer I’m delighted that, with the support of Macmillan, we are able to offer this bespoke exercise scheme to people in our local boroughs. We’re incredibly proud of ACE and the work our instructors do to help change the lives of people living with and beyond cancer.”
Since the start of the 2013-14 season, Tottenham Hotspur has been helping to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and promoting the importance of early diagnosis through its support of major NHS campaign, Get to know cancer, which aims to save up to 1,000 lives in London each year through early diagnosis.
For more information about Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Macmillan After Cancer Exercise programme please download a referral form from www.tottenhamhotspur.com/foundation/health-and-wellbeing/macmillan-ace/ and take it along to your GP or Cancer specialist nurse.