More than 120 people living with type1 diabetes participated in the DiaEuro 2019, the 8th European Futsal Championship for people living with diabetes, that took place on July 22- 26 in the Sports Complex NUFFS in Ukraine. The contests, organised again this year by the Ukrainian Diabetic Federation (UDF), hosted 10 teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Croatia, Ireland, Portugal, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and Ukraine.
DiaEuro is much more than football. Created by IDF Europe member, the Ukrainian Diabetic Federation, DiaEuro was first held in Ukraine in 2012 at the same time as the Euro 2012. Since then, it has become an exceptional annual event to raise awareness of diabetes at a national and international level. More than 200 youngsters living with diabetes from all around the European Region gather to engage in a competitive physical activity, network with fellow people living with diabetes and send one powerful message to Europe and beyond: diabetes is not a barrier to sports.
According to the former UDF chair Valentina Ocheretenko, this unique social project is intended to draw the attention of society to the global diabetes problem in Ukraine and in the world and to prevent the disability of people with diabetes.
“I firmly believe that with proper support, education and mentality, type 1 diabetes does not necessarily have to be “a difficult mountain”, but only an additional barrier through which you must jump over. It’s like while running through obstacles. This distance – is our life. I consider the DIAEURO project to be the biggest of my achievement. And now you have a group of people who help you implement the project. Special project with special members!” says Valentina Ocheretenko.
The gathering was not only about futsal! The program also included activities such as walking the city and the “Health Fair” at the closing day,which included the winner awarding ceremony, workshops, competitions, and communication with experts in diabetes, nutrition, and more.