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March 26, 2014 10:08 AM

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With the world’s top athletes on the final training countdown to win a Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Gold medal, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow have developed the 2014 Commonwealth Games Beat Diabetes Challenge offering people with type 2 diabetes the chance to train for an even bigger prize – better health.

More than 60 people with type 2 diabetes  have signed up to work hard over the next six months to become more physically active and see how their diabetes control improves even to the point of living without any medication.

By taking part in the challenge participants will be offered motivational support, personal physical activity plans and free access to local authority gym and leisure facilities for the duration of the programme as well as having opportunities to engage in new activities in the world-class Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games venues.  Doctors, Nurses and Dieticians who work in diabetes services are also providing motivation, advice and support.

Dr Frank Dunn, President of the Glasgow Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, said: "The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow are delighted to be a partner in this event. We and NHSGGC were determined to provide a heath legacy from the games and this project fits the bill perfectly. Throughout our 415 years, part of our College's mission has been to improve the health of the people of Glasgow and this provides an ideal opportunity, especially during such a prestigious time for the city. We will be able to show the world that Glasgow is committed to excellence in supporting sport and improving the health of the people of this great City."

Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC Director of Public Health, said: “Evidence shows that by making changes in your daily routine you can manage your diabetes to the point where you may be able to reduce your need for medication, lose weight, lead a healthier life and live longer.  We hope that this group of people who want to get more physically active in the run up to the Commonwealth Games can inspire many others to take on this same challenge.  I am delighted that this is a partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians of Glasgow giving a strong message that being more physically active is as important in being healthy as any high technology medicine or drug treatment.  We’ll be there to support the participants every step of the way and I’m thrilled that so many have taken the opportunity to sign-up to this important initiative.”

Debbie Houston, 46, from Erskine was one of the first participants to sign up to the Challenge.  Debbie said: “I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes five years ago.  Thankfully I’ve managed my condition well enough so far to avoid medication and I’m taking part in the challenge to ensure I keep it that way.  As Chief Executive of Dales Cycles I also want to practice what I preach and be an ambassador for health, wellbeing and generally being active. The Beat Diabetes Challenge delivers everything I need to get more active, stay motivated, improve my diet and access specialist diabetic medical support  in a one stop shop and I’ve grabbed this opportunity to improve my health and diabetic status with both hands.”

Evelyn Glass, Specialist Rehabilitation Nurse based in Renfrewshire, was one of the first to sign up to the programme.

Evelyn said: “I took the decision at Hogmanay that 2014 would be my year.  I turn 50 in December and really want to turn my health status around after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes four years ago.

“When I heard about the Beat Diabetes Challenge I knew it was just what I needed.  I’ve already started to make small changes but what I need now is that push to do more and the support this initiative is offering is amazing.”

A series of motivational and exercise try out sessions will run until the conclusion of the programme. Participants have already tried out jogging at one Commonwealth Games venue - the Scotston Sports Centre running track - and next month will see them try out peddle power at the Emirates Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.


For more information contact either Elaine Mulcahy at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on 0141 227 3204 or the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Press Office on 0141 201 4429 or e-mail [email protected]


Images of Debbie Houston, Evelyn Glass, Dr Dunn, Dr Fisher and Dr de Caestecker at Scotston Sports Centre running track are available on request.

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015