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Type 1 diabetes ballerina to represent Wales in Dance World Cup

Olivia Bant, 13, from Cardiff is a ballerina with type 1 diabetes who has qualified for the Dance World Cup in Spain, dancing in three solos, three groups and a quartet.

She was diagnosed aged 10 and now uses a sensor (Libre) to monitor her blood sugar levels.

Her mother, Helen Brown, said:


“Olivia started doing ballet aged two and a half with a local ballet teacher and was very dedicated and passionate about it. She has worked hard and pre-covid was in class daily. But Olivia’s journey with diabetes has been a hard one. She has inconsistent blood sugars and periods of very high levels. She has been admitted into hospital three times and never seems to get a smooth ride with it.”

Accepting her diagnosis

Olivia found it difficult to accept her diagnosis and is very scared of needles:

“Initially she didn’t want the Libre, as she was worried, she would have to inject more insulin, but her diabetes team insisted on it. She hid it, wore bandages and plasters over it. She wouldn’t even tell her friends she had diabetes. While all this was going on she lost confidence in her dance abilities and nearly gave it all up”.

Olivia had already seen diabetes close up as her older sister, Bella, 15, also has type 1 diabetes. Despite having the support of her sister and family, Olivia found the condition overwhelming. The transition to secondary school was also another challenge, as she didn't know any other children with diabetes.

Bouncing back

However, Olivia soon bounced back and regained her confidence, wearing her sensor proudly and throwing herself into her passion for ballet and dancing. Last year, she joined a new class and made new friends.

Olivia loves animals and wants to become a vet if she’s not able to pursue a career in dancing.

Fundraising for the World Dance Cup

Only five people in each country qualify for the prestigious World Dance Cup. Olivia and the rest of the Welsh team are currently looking for sponsors to help them represent Wales with ballet, jazz and lyrical categories. Entry costs £3000 plus, costumes, travel and accommodation all add up for the two-week competition in June.

Helen is now fundraising for the group to be able afford to participate in the World Dance Cup.

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