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First Minister congratulates Team Oarstruck

First Minster Carwyn Jones congratulated record-breaking Atlantic rowers, Team Oarstruck, at a special event to mark Diabetes Week.


The teammates were introduced to the First Minister at the National Assembly for Wales by Newport West AM Jayne Bryant.

Hugo Thompson, John Morgan, Joel Wood and Monty Williams, all aged 26, from Caerleon, completed the 3000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge earlier this year. Despite having no rowing experience, they set off from the Canary Islands on 14th December and rowed across the finish line in Antigua 55 days, two hours and 23 minutes later on 7th February.

Hugo became the first person with Type 1 diabetes to complete the challenge.

So far, the team have raised £15,000 for the charity, and Hugo hopes his achievements will go on to inspire others with the condition.

"An inspiration to others"

After meeting Mr Jones, Hugo, John and Monty shared stories and videos from their epic voyage.

Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “Team Oarstruck are an inspiration, not only to other young people with Type 1 diabetes but to the whole of Wales. They demonstrate what can be achieved through teamwork, dedication and supporting each other. It was a real honour to share their story with the First Minister and thank them once again for all they have achieved for our charity.”

Newport West AM Jayne Bryant said, “Hugo, John, Monty and Joel are four inspirational young men who everyone in Newport West is incredibly proud of, and I join the First Minister in warmly congratulating them for all they have achieved. By sharing his story, Hugo is showing others that having diabetes should not hold you back in life.”

The theme for Diabetes Week this year is Talk About Diabetes. Diabetes UK Cymru is using the week to share tips and tools to help people with diabetes have honest, open conversations about their condition with healthcare professionals, friends and family.

Check out our tips on having those challenging conversations about diabetes and share your own on social media using the hashtag #talkaboutdiabetes .

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