Animas Sports Weekend: for me the biggest ‘game changer’ post DAFNE

By Charlotte Mills

I can still hear my first Diabetologist saying to me ‘manage your diabetes don’t let it manage you.’ Until this year I’ve exercised in an on and off fashion but never managed to continue long term – primarily because of the fear of hypos and the unknown that follows post exercise. Until May 2016 that is!

In May 2015, Candice Ward encouraged me to register for the Animas Sports Weekend 2016. I registered by e-mail at the time and didn’t really it give much more thought until February 2016, when the opportunity to book my place came along.

The weekend itself was 6 and 7 May 2016 and it was amazing, I loved every single minute. All too often I hear ‘life changing’ and I often say it myself – but for me the Animas weekend was the biggest ‘game changer’ post DAFNE. The attendees all have type one and are either pumpers or on injections, along with some HCPs and Animas staff and Heroes. Dr. Ian Gallen (Dr who runs and also looked after Sir Steve Redgrave) gave a presentation on the Saturday morning about carbs, insulin, blood glucose management when exercising; the afternoon was then an opportunity to put that new found knowledge to the test. Test being the operative word – but that said I managed to get through the remainder of the weekend without hypos. I left on Sunday with a real sense of achievement and a new found energy to give it a go.

Saturday evening shouldn’t go unmentioned. Roddy Riddle an inspirational athlete with Type 1 gave a talk followed by dinner with the other delegates - lots of talk about the day itself, what the next day held and most importantly life outside of diabetes management.

I can’t say I wasn’t extremely nervous as I pulled up in the car park on that Saturday morning but I know I’ll never regret the time I spent that weekend. I learned so much and understand so much more than I did before about sports and diabetes. Since being back I’ve started spinning regularly, there’s still masses for me to do in improving fitness but my new found confidence will help no end. I still have the buzz from that weekend.

The Animas website is a great place to look for more information