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Caerphilly RFC teen hosts youth rugby tournament to raise awareness of diabetes

A keen rugby player from Caerphilly hosted a successful youth rugby tournament to raise funds and awareness for Diabetes UK Cymru.

Simeon Greenaway-Robbins, 16, was only diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April last year. He organised the fundraising event with his teammates at Caerphilly RFC. Three under-16’s teams played each other during the tournament and  raised over £1,200 for the charity.

Simeon said: “I didn’t know much about Type 1 diabetes at first. I had been drinking loads of water, going to the toilet a lot, losing weight and was very tired so I went to my doctor. They did a finger prick test to check my blood glucose levels straight away and sent me directly to the hospital, where I was diagnosed with Type 1.”

Simeon started playing rugby in 2015, when he moved back from Canada to Wales. He added: “I started training with Caerphilly RFC and I absolutely love it, it’s my biggest passion. When I was diagnosed I was scared that I might not be able to play rugby anymore. But now I want to show everyone that Type 1 diabetes will not stop me from following my dream of playing rugby and eventually becoming a professional referee.

“I wanted to organise a fun rugby event to support Diabetes UK Cymru because they do amazing work for people with diabetes just like me.

“Lots of my friends helped. My uncle even stepped in as referee! We made our own teams for the tournament. Some were experienced players and others had never touched a ball but everyone had a great time. I am amazed by how much we raised and I am hoping to do another event next year.”

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Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects around 20,000 people in Wales. People with the condition don’t produce the hormone insulin, which is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. Nobody knows what causes Type 1 diabetes and it isn’t currently preventable.

Diabetes UK Cymru Fundraising Manager Joseph Cuff said, “We’re very grateful to Simeon for organising his rugby fundraiser, helping us to raise funds and awareness that will help others living with diabetes in Wales, and their families.

“It’s inspiring to see someone so young and proactive making such a great effort to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes.”