BRIGHTON and Hove Albion’s official charity is launching a new free walking football session for people with an experience of cancer.

The new session, which will take place in Preston Park on Wednesday afternoons from August 9, is part of Albion in the Community’s (AITC) Brighter Outlook project.

Research shows that staying active during or after cancer treatment is perfectly safe in most cases and can lead to a host of benefits, including less fatigue, improved mood, reduced disease progression and a decreased risk of recurrence.

Being active to recommended levels can also help cut the risk of other health conditions, such as coronary heart disease and diabetes.

Brighter Outlook is aimed at people living in Brighton and Hove who have, or have had, cancer and aims to encourage and help people remain active.

In its two years to date, the project has already engaged with more than 300 people.

Many of those participants have taken part in one of the charity’s low-intensity circuit groups, while others have been given one-to-one support or joined the Brighter Outlook running group.

AITC is now branching out into walking football as a way of encouraging more people to take part.

The session is free and available to men and women with a recent experience of cancer, but the charity is particularly keen to hear from local men who have, or have had, prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, and in Brighton and Hove 135 men are diagnosed with the condition each year.

Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is clear that physical activity can significantly help men living with prostate cancer to improve their outcomes – especially those men on hormone therapy.

Siobhan Meaker, AITC’s health manager, said: “Our Brighter Outlook programme has proved incredibly popular and we wanted to expand it by introducing walking football.

“The sessions will be fun and suitable for people of all ability levels.

“The health benefits of regular physical activity are proven but people shouldn’t underestimate how important the sort of camaraderie often found among teammates can be for people experiencing cancer.

“If you’re not sure, why not pop along on August 9 and meet the team, with no pressure to sign up.”

The walking football session will take place in Preston Park.

Players meet at The Chalet café each Wednesday afternoon between 12pm and 1pm.

The sessions run until October 11.