Day hopes to grant ill children release through exercise

Children who have been severely ill will get a chance for some fun and activity this Sunday, as the 7th annual Do It For You Day comes around.

Ran by volunteers from Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the University of Sheffield, it gives children and parents alike a fantastic opportunity to get involved in physical activity in a safe and supportive environment.

The day at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield is aimed at helping children who are recovering or have recovered from cancer, leukaemia or bone-marrow treatment.

With 20 sports – ranging from football to archery and climbing – and over 100 volunteers, DIFYD brings together various aspects of the local community under one common cause.

The children will also have the opportunity to get involved with activities such as arts and crafts.

Research carried out by the Sheffield Children’s Hospital shows that survivors of childhood cancer have a lower-level of physical fitness than their peers, and this has a negative impact on their health. DIFYD is a chance for these children to try a new activity which will hopefully have wider benefits.

James Blencowe – the University of Sheffield’s Social Sport Development Officer – said: “We have some families who are no longer receiving current treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital but come back every single year.

“It just puts a smile on everyone’s face and you can really see the reward it brings, not only to the kids but I think the massive impact it has on the families just breaking them away from their normal day-to-day routine.

“A lot of these kids are in and out of hospital and a lot of them are still incredibly sick. Just giving them the opportunity to try different sports and activities is fantastic.”