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Macmillan Move More participants embark on virtual round the world challenge

01 May 2020
Derry City and Strabane District Council's Move More Programme participants have found an innovative way to stay active during the Covid 19 crisis.
The Macmillan Cancer Support programme works in partnership with local councils to provide the support that people living with cancer need to improve their fitness.
The local team are virtually climbing their way around global landmarks by doing the equivalent amount of steps in their homes and gardens.
Walking the to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty or Big Ben might seem like a mammoth task but Council's Move More Coordinator Sean Hargan is encouraging his Move More participants to complete the challenge each week.
Since the stay at home restrictions have been in place, Move More Coordinators have been working from home as face to face classes and appointments are not possible.
Sean and his colleagues have been working on positive, fun and interesting ways to keep Move More participants motivated and active in their homes.
"Like all Move More Coordinators, I'm usually based in our local leisure facilities or out and about meeting participants," he explained. "We were due to have our first regional event of 2020 this month where our coordinators and participants usually travel to one part of NI to take part in a fun activity and have some social time together. 
"That's what inspired my colleagues Claire and Catherine to come up with our 'round the world' challenge idea. 
"Even though we can't bring everyone together in person, we wanted to find a way to motivate and connect our groups virtually and give them all a positive goal to focus on.
"It's simple for Move More participants to get involved in our round the world challenge.
"We've identified how many steps it would take to climb certain landmarks, and we're encouraging people to virtually climb as many landmarks as they can by building up their steps every day using a front door step, bottom stair or kerb, and keeping track of their daily tally.
"We have developed a pack to support those getting involved and of course, we're encouraging participants to take part at a level that is appropriate for their level of fitness.
"They'll be sharing their updates with us and letting us know how they're getting on as the days and weeks progress.
"We may not be able to physically travel the world at the moment, but there's no limit on our imagination!"
Aisling Murray takes part in the local Move More programme and says the challenge is literally keeping them on their toes.
"I got up feeling positive and looking forward to starting this challenge - the idea of virtually visiting some amazing landmarks around the world creates a fun aspect while we are also encouraged to get up off the sofa and join in once again with activities we have missed with our groups.
"It's so important for all of us to keep morale high and this is a great way for us to do it. We always feel supported which is so important, especially now."
To find out more about the challenge and how you can get involved in or referred to the Move More programme, contact Sean on 078 7242 3754, email [email protected] or visit the Move More NI facebook page.
Comprehensive information and support, including Macmillan's latest guidance and advice on the impact of coronavirus on cancer care, is available on www.macmillan.org.uk.