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Newport Harriers athlete swims equivalent of English Channel for charity

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Han O’Connor, a shot putter for the Newport Harriers, is swimming the equivalent of the English Channel to raise funds for Diabetes UK Cymru.

The charity’s Swim22 challenge gives swimmers three months to swim 22 miles in their local pool, either by themselves or by splitting the distance with teammates.

Few people are lucky enough to live with their best friend and hero

Han, 27, is taking part in Swim 22 to raise awareness of the seriousness of Type 1 diabetes as her partner Laura has the condition. No one knows exactly what causes Type 1 diabetes, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable.

Han said: “Few people are lucky enough to live with their best friend and hero. I happen to be one of them, but things became challenging for us both when my partner Laura started suffering from some pretty serious complications from her Type 1 diabetes three years ago.

“Hospital staff, family, friends and colleagues were excellent during that difficult time but few people understood the challenges that Laura has faced in her recovery, nutrition and daily diabetes management since then.

“I am doing the Swim22 Challenge to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes here in Wales in support of my wonderful partner and others just like her. I’m hoping that campaigns like Swim 22 will also help to raise awareness of Diabetes UK Cymru and the wonderful work they do to support people with diabetes and their loved ones.”

The challenge started on 22 February but won’t end until 22 May 2017, so there is still plenty of time for people to sign up to get fit and support people living with diabetes in Wales.

We wish Han the best of luck

Diabetes UK Cymru’s Fundraising Manager Joseph Cuff said: “We are delighted that Han will be diving into the pool and making a splash for Diabetes UK Cymru. We wish Han the best of luck and look forward to following her progress in the challenge.

“We hope Han’s passion and commitment will inspire others across Wales to take on this challenge for Diabetes UK Cymru. Whatever your fitness level there’s plenty of time to get in the pool, and you can even split the distance with teammates if that feels more manageable.

“Swim22 is perfect for anyone who wants to challenge themselves to get fitter and to keep physically active. In turn it helps them to maintain a healthy weight, which can contribute to preventing the development of Type 2 diabetes.”

People with diabetes can also help manage their condition through getting plenty of exercise and eating healthily.

To sponsor Han please visit herJustGiving page. If Han has inspired you to take on this challenge, sign up forSwim 22 today. There is no closing date, so you can sign up anytime so long as you complete the challenge by 22 May 2017.

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