Diabetes camp a confidence boost for youth

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Former professional cyclist Aaron Perry with the crew from Sport Northland and the 19 children.
Former professional cyclist Aaron Perry with the crew from Sport Northland and the 19 children.

Nineteen young Northlanders enjoyed a four-day stay at the annual Diabetes and Healthy Lifestyles camp this summer.

As well as being great fun, the camps help young people get to know others with diabetes and increase their confidence in dealing with the condition.

Nine-year-old Adrian, who has been to one of the camps at Manaia Baptist Camp at Taurikura before, most liked the beach, making new friends and learning more about managing diabetes.

Lachlan, aged 12, who was at a diabetes camp for the first time, said the best part was "trying to get some sleep" amid the fun and making new friends.

Former professional cyclist Aaron Perry was one of several people who visited the camp to share insights and inspire the children.

Sport Northland staff were also on hand, running team-building activities.

"Hopefully in the years to come, I will be reading their names and their achievements in the news," Mr Perry said.

"I have been to a couple of these camps now and have seen the way they bond."

Northland DHB dietitian Mary McNab said what the kids got out of this was amazing.

"Some of them come here not doing their own testing and finger-pricks, and they are doing it by the time they leave just a few days later."

Funding changes for diabetes camps in recent years mean the get-togethers are now run by Diabetes NZ (Northland) and Northland District Health Board.

- Northern Advocate

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