Sports stars raise diabetes awareness at Hackney Marshes event


Ex-professional footballers joined hundreds of young football players at the home of grassroots football, Hackney Marshes, to raise awareness of diabetes for World Diabetes Day.

In the run up to World Diabetes Day, which takes place today (14 November), Hackney Council with Diabetes UK and the Diabetes Awareness Foundation (DAF World) held a special event on Saturday at Hackney Marshes Centre for hundreds of Hackney young people who use the football pitches for their youth league matches.

With Hackney’s Public Health service, the event helped to raise awareness of the risks associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and how the condition can be prevented and managed with exercise and a healthy diet.

The event featured:

  • Information stalls, advice and support on the subject of diabetes for anyone walking through the Marshes Centre and onto the football pitches
  • A free healthy breakfast for players and their families with recipes, tips and hints to make them at home
  • Diabetes awareness workshops to teach the young players and their families about nutrition, exercise and how to raise awareness amongst their peer groups and their families

Joining the young players on the day were also a few well-known names from the sporting world who spoke to the young residents and their families about the importance of healthy eating, not just for sport but in their daily lives.

University East London Health Promotion students supported the event by working with Diabetes UK to work with the community around signs and symptoms of diabetes and how to reduce the risk through healthy diet and exercise.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution
The Hackney Marshes event in aid of World Diabetes Day was a great opportunity to kick the message home about how eating healthy and physical exercise are key to avoid long-term health conditions, such as type 1 and 2 diabetes, in later life. In partnership with the two national charities, we spoke to hundreds of young people and their families about a balanced nutrition while reminding everyone to spread the healthy message further to friends and family.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution
Roz Rosenblatt, London Head for Diabetes UK
Congratulations to everyone who took part in the weekend, particularly to the youngsters who turn out every week to play sport and to their parents for supporting them. Doing something you love and protecting your long-term health at the same time is a win-win whatever the actual score line says!

Diabetes UK is working hard to help people get the care they need if they have diabetes and also to help people delay the onset of the condition with projects such as our 'Enjoy Food' campaign which is something families can do together.
Roz Rosenblatt, London Head for Diabetes UK
A Diabetes Awareness Foundation Spokesperson
We at DAF WORLD are pleased to have partnered with Hackney Council alongside Diabetes UK and UEL. Together we put on a successful event creating and raising awareness for World Diabetes Day.
A Diabetes Awareness Foundation Spokesperson
Leon Constantine, ex-Leeds United football player
Diabetes is something that affects us all, an amazing event which will make an important statement in the borough of Hackney.
Leon Constantine, ex-Leeds United football player

World Diabetes Day is annually and helps raise awareness of diabetes and what it is like to live with the condition. In Hackney, 13,508 people are diagnosed with diabetes (type 1 and 2) which is 5.66% of the borough’s population.

Nationally, diabetes leads to 140 lower limb amputations, 1,400 cases of heart failure and 540 strokes every week.

For more information, visit the Diabetes UK website. You can tweet about World Diabetes Day by using #WorldDiabetesDay and you can follow Diabetes UK using: @diabetesLondon and @DiabetesUK

You can visit the Diabetes Awareness Foundation website here.