Physical literacy helping kids get into the game

PISE program provides recreational activities for children with cancer

Tricha Worobec joins her husband Dustin in playing with sons Konnor

A new program at PISE is working to help children with cancer get the physical exercise they need, and now those children are getting a financial boost from Peninsula Co-Op.

Last Week, Peninsula Co-Op announced a donation of $6,500 to the B.C. Childhood Cancer Parent Association, a non-profit society whose recipients use the physical literacy program. The donations will go to 15 families with children facing pediatric cancer.

The donation coincided with Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after American Thanksgiving used as an international day of giving,

Physical literacy is described as “the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.” PISE’s program gives children with cancer a fun and supportive atmosphere to develop fundamental movement skills through recreational activities.

“When most people think of kids with cancer, they picture very sick children incapable of running and participating in physical activities,” said Susan Kerr, patient family liaison with the Pediatric Oncology Families in Victoria, at the event.

“While that can be true at certain stages of treatment, the reality is most of them can run, jump and play throughout their treatment, and beyond. The magical thing about PISE and their physical literacy program is they encourage kids to look beyond and to adapt to their physical limitations.”

Tricha Worobec, whose youngest son Konnor has retinoblastoma, said the program has been very beneficial for his development.

“He was born with a tumour in his eye, so a lot of his challenges with daily physical tasks happen to do with things like depth perception,” she said. “They’re really great here for teaching different skills and how to play and have things be fun for him – they’ll introduce a ball with a rattle in it so he can hear it as well.

“It also provides an opportunity for the parents to interact with other oncology parents who get it. A lot of the time, you can feel isolated when you’re in this world, so when you’re with other families and your children are playing with other children who understand, it just provides a comfort.”