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Sports stars to encourage Armagh’s young living with diabetes

Top local sporting stars will be coming to County Armagh later this month to offer advice to young people living with diabetes.

Belfast Giant Calvin Effring will be among those offering advice to those with the condition who are interested in playing sport.

The event takes place on Saturday, February 28, in the Seagoe Parish Centre in Portadown, from 2pm to 5pm.

It is being organised by the Southern Health Trust and is aimed at young people with diabetes living in the Armagh, Dungannon, Craigavon, Banbridge and Newry and Mourne Council areas.

Dr Sarinda Millar, Consultant Paediatrician, explained: “We look after around 250 children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes across the Southern Trust. Our aim is to support and educate them and their families in managing their condition so that they can lead fulfilled lives.

“Having diabetes should not prevent anyone from participating in and enjoying sport and exercise. We encourage, not just children and adolescents with diabetes, but everyone to exercise regularly and frequently to keep them healthy and prevent many medical conditions.

“We do understand that many young children with diabetes and their parents worry about participating in sport and are unsure how to manage their diabetes when exercising. This was the motivation behind running this event ‘managing diabetes and sport’ for all our children and young adults in the Southern Trust.

“The event aims to encourage and inspire children and young people to exercise and to empower them with the knowledge to manage their diabetes whilst exercising.”

The programme includes workshops, advice from diabetes and sports specialists and inspirational speakers Belfast Giant Calvin Effring, Marathon Runner Siobhan Monaghan and Ironman Kevin Murdock, who will share their personal experiences of enjoying sport with Type 1 diabetes.

Calvin said: “Exercise is obviously great for everyone and I would hate to think that having diabetes would put any young person off from enjoying sport.

“I have learned how to manage my diabetes so that I can play hockey competitively and am keen to show young people that diabetes doesn’t have to hold you back from your activities at any level.”

To find out more or to register your attendance contact one of the Diabetes Nurse Specialists, Shirley Brannigan, 077 8615 0282 or Paula Connell, 078 4110 2147, by Friday, February 20.

Picture: Michael Cooper

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