Playing Hockey with Diabetes | National Diabetes Week 2021

As this week marks National Diabetes Week, some of our members who all have Type 1 Diabetes came together by chance at training and we were able to capture the moment.

This impromptu catch up gave players the opportunity to discuss their individual situations and journeys with this chronic condition.

Our members in our picture above from left to right are:

  • Andrew Proctor: current Labrador Hockey Club President, coach and former player
  • Anya Prior: current player in both junior and senior women’s hockey,
  • Lucy Proctor: current player in our junior divisions
  • Adam Imer: current BHL Div 1 player and member of the Brazil Men’s National Squad, Adam competed for Brazil at the 2016 Olympic Games.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes, in brief, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. It typically appears in adolescence. Treatment aims at maintaining normal blood glucose levels (BGL), through monitoring, insulin therapy, diet and exercise.

Discovering you’re diabetic

Adam, was diagnosed in 2002, he went to a school camp without diabetes and came home with it. He mentions the excessive thirst and need to go to the toilet on his way back in the bus which were classic symptoms before diagnosis. His BGL at the hospital was 64 (normal levels are between 4-8).

Anya, was diagnosed in 2013, at age 7, with very similar symptoms to Adam, thirsty, constant toilet stops and off to the doctor. Anya’s BGL was in the high 20’s at diagnosis.

Lucy, was diagnosed in 2019 also at age 7 with a BGL of 28, similar symptoms to Adam and Anya and as the family left hockey on a Friday night the call came from the doctor to get to hospital.

Andrew, was diagnosed in 1985 aged 10 with a BGL of 42. Playing junior hockey on a Saturday morning he could not run the length of the field and with all other symptoms as mentioned by the others he was admitted to hospital.

This year, National Diabetes Week runs from 11 – 17 July and in year two of the ‘Heads Up on Diabetes’ campaign their focus has been on challenging diabetes related stigma.

Research conducted by the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD), found that four out of five people living with diabetes have experienced stigma at some point. People living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes both reported feeling this way.

Andrew says; “Type 1 diabetes is a very liveable condition, technological advances along with sport are a key component in keeping healthy, in all of the above members hockey has been the key sport of choice and all have proven that having diabetes has not stopped them pursuing their dreams.”