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New low-impact sports league started in Red Deer for cancer survivors

Engless Spirit Foundation is offering walking soccer and basketball, Frisbee golf
Jason Kom-Tong and Michelle Hansen of Red Deer invite cancer survivors and those still in treatment to join the low-impact Endless Spirit Foundation sports league. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Jason Kom-Tong knows that getting a cancer diagnosis can feel lonely and isolating.

To foster more social connections as well as exercise for other cancer survivors and those still in treatment, the Red Deer man is starting a low-impact sports league.

Kom-Tong’s Endless Spirit Foundation held its first public event Thursday with a walking soccer game at the Collicutt Centre. The group is also taking sign-ups for people who want to play walking basketball or Frisbee golf. (For more information, check out Endless Spirit Foundation on Facebook.)

When Kom-Tong lost his tongue and part of his jaw to cancer in 2013, he had trouble finding people who could really relate to what he was going through.

His two children were then six and four years old and he feared dying before they could remember him.

Kom-Tong ended up beating the odds and becoming a cancer survivor. He’s since been looking into various ways to help the estimated 8,000 Red Deerians who have had a cancer diagnosis.

He recently approached friends with the idea of starting a low-impact sports league that would offer a chance to meet others who may be experiencing the same health issues.

Michelle Hansen, a nurse, was keen to join the board of directors of Kom-Tong’s new charitable Endless Spirit Foundation.

She knows a cancer diagnosis can weigh heavily on people’s minds, and being part of a sports team can be a great diversion. Hansen said it can provide a lift for people’s mental as well as physical health.

The goal is to have more than 100 people signing up to play, said Hansen. She would love to see a league formed, perhaps with teams made up of people with different types of cancer.

The group is focusing on low-impact sports — such as walking soccer, which is becoming popular in the UK for allowing people of all ages.

The next activity will be walking basketball and walking soccer 9 a.m. to noon on May 1 at the Northside Community Centre YMCA.

Frisbee golf and walking soccer will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on May 13 at Great Chief Park, while walking soccer and walking basketball will be offered again from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 27 at the Red Deer Polytechnic’s Main Campus.

Those interested in the group can also check out

Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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