‘DIAthlete’ heading to Northern Ireland to inspire young diabetics

DIAthlete Gavin Griffiths who will be visiting Northern Ireland next month
DIAthlete Gavin Griffiths who will be visiting Northern Ireland next month

Teenagers and young people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will next month be told that the condition doesn’t have to stop them from fulfilling their dreams.

‘DIAthlete’ Gavin Griffiths, an ultra endurance athlete, will be visiting Northern Ireland from May 6th to 8th with the aim of inspiring young people with type 1 diabetes at events in Ballymena, Belfast and Lisburn.

And organisers are appealing for as many children and young people with type 1 diabetes to come along and benefit from Gavin’s many years of experience. Dubbed ‘the DIAthlete, he’ was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 8, when he was informed that his dreams in sports would be affected. Now, Gavin is recognised across global diabetes communities for being ‘the DIAthlete’ – an ultra-endurance athlete taking on the extreme to show any dream is still possible whilst living with diabetes.

Gavin was an inspiration when he visited Belfast last year to run some informal speaking events and take part in training sessions with some of young people.

Next month’s programme of events is as follows:

Friday 6th May (from 7pm) Ballymena (location tbc) - Inspirational talk from Gavin Griffiths aka ‘DIAthlete’. Gavin will tell his story, packed with adventure, good humour and travels which provide a global insight to the world of diabetes, sporting accomplishments and above all a positive message to those who need to hear it: type 1 Diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from fulfilling your dreams; nothing does.

Saturday 7th May (from 10:30am) Cavehill - Walk/hike and picnic with Gavin on hand to give advice http://www.walkni.com/walks/79/cave-hill-country-park/

Saturday 7th May (from 3pm) Knocknagoney Church of Ireland Church Hall - Family afternoon with BBQ - everyone welcome! Come along for an afternoon of games suited to all ages. A great chance to meet new families and let your type 1 child and their siblings get to know others in the same situation. The afternoon will be finished with a BBQ. Numbers must be confirmed in advance to plan for food – a charge of £5 for 1 adult and family or £10 for 2 adults and family to attend will be applied. All profits from the event will go to DIAthlete.org to allow Gavin to fund further events (Diathlete.org is a registered Social Enterprise – a business where society profits).

Sunday 8th May (from 12:30pm) Wallace Park, Lisburn - DiAthlete Education Programme.

These programmes represent an initiative to educate, encourage and empower diabetes communities with fun and active sessions, to explore how the body reacts in various forms of exercise and coach the best methods of keeping stable blood glucose level control, before, during and after your sporty days!

These programmes provide great opportunities for children and their families to meet, network and share their experiences. A major aim of DiAthlete is to unite and strengthen diabetes communities and these engaging sessions are a great way to do it! A ballot held throughout the weekend will be drawn at Wallace Park on Sunday.

For further details about any of the events please email diathletebelfast@btinternet.com or phone 07904 034026.