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How good are footy finals?

4 October 2016

No matter who you support undeniably some of the best footy of the season has been played over the past few weeks.

If we’re talking AFL, you will have also see members of our T1D community on the field.

I was surprised a few years ago to find out that one of the Swans young guns had T1D. It challenged what I thought about T1D – and what I thought of AFL. Perhaps the fatigue, potential for lows and compromised performance I’d heard of associated with T1D wasn’t true. Or – perhaps AFL wasn’t as physically demanding as I thought. Of course – both were wrong.

What hadn’t been factored into the equation was the importance of good glucose management. The status quo that people for years had been ‘tolerating’ was being challenged – and it was being challenged by a teenager with sights on the premiership. I know this player wears a pump and has used CGM.  I also know that there is more than one player with T1D making their mark in AFL at the moment. If you follow teams in Sydney, Brisbane and Victoria – you probably know this too.

Earlier this season I heard a commentator describe a player by saying “he has full-blown diabetes”. The statement was not derogatory – quite the opposite. But what did it mean? It certainly wasn’t that the other players were going to go easy on them. I guess it was trying to highlight that T1D might change your life, but it doesn’t mean you can’t play footy – and play it well.

It highlighted to me that people still don’t understand what T1D is, although we have seen great inroads. By celebrating our community living well with T1D we are challenging stereotypes and giving hope to dreams, every day. Better glucose management and understanding of an individual’s T1D won’t automatically mean you can play footy for the Swans (or any other team), but it does bring that potential one step closer… the rest is up to you.

Contribution by Medtronic team member Donna.

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