Tommy Europe gets moving in fight against breast cancer

See you on April 13th at Bust a Move, supporting breast cancer research from BC Cancer Foundation on Vimeo.

Tommy Europe played 11 seasons in the Canadian Football League, many of those with the BC Lions with whom he won a Grey Cup in 1994.

But he’s perhaps better known these days as a highly-respected personal trainer and fitness coach.

His latest challenge, though, may be the most rewarding of all. Europe is helping to spread the word about Bust a Move, the BC Cancer Foundation’s latest effort in the ongoing fight against breast cancer.

As event chairman, Europe will be busting-a-move in support of the agency’s day-long fitness fundraising extravaganza April 13 at the Richmond Olympic Oval. He’ll also be leading the Tommy SHREDnation team at the event, which will feature six different, hour-long fitness sessions including Zumba—a sizzling, upbeat aerobic workout that uses dance moves from around the world to create a total body workout. There’s also hip hop, a popular street-style dance that originated in the 1970s; yoga, which stems from Hindu philosophy and incorporates graceful poses with breathing control; Bollywood, an infectious dance that combines unique hand movements and dance moves from the Indian film industry; and Tabata, the latest craze from Japan which is made up of short intervals alternating between intense cardio and rest.

“I was approached with the idea of helping launch the first Bust a Move in the Vancouver area, and obviously I want to do everything I can to help out with the cause,” said Europe, who hosts TV’s Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp and Bulging Brides. “I hope we can raise as much as possible so we can be a little closer to beating this disease.”

While this is the first Bust a Move in B.C., previous events elsewhere in Canada have met with great success. One in Ottawa last year, attended by a few hundred participants, raised $350,000, Europe said.

“We’re hoping to have between 300 and 400 participants to enjoy a fun-filled day of physical activity,” he said.

Europe knows many people who have suffered from breast cancer, including, fortunately, some who are breast cancer survivors.

“I don’t think anyone has gone untouched by this disease,” he said. “And the more we can do, the better equipped we’re going to be to prevent and stop the spread of it. It’s also important to continue to raise awareness.”

Europe was also an active participant in Movember, the prostate cancer fundraiser held each November that encourages men to grow moustaches in the fight against that form of cancer.

“Cancer is very common unfortunately, but a lot of times it is swept under the rug,” he said. “It’s crazy. It doesn’t make sense. The only way we can beat it is by joining together and (Bust a Move) is an amazing outlet.”

Europe also applauds using fitness as a theme. He says the more physically active people are, the more likely they are to follow a healthy lifestyle and improve their chances of fighting a disease such as cancer.

Europe encourages everyone to come out—either as an individual or part of a team—to the oval on April 13 and Bust a Move.

“I can’t wait,” he says. “It’s going to be a fantastic event.”

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