Youth with Type 1 Diabetes Sail Leeuwin


Each year, Diabetes WA selects two young people with type 1 diabetes to take part in the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Ultimate Challenge.

This November, Ciara Crockett (14) and Tayla Jones (16) boarded the STS Leeuwin II with 22 other young people with physical, sensory or intellectual limitations and 16 Care Aids (18+) on a sail like no other.

The challenge gives participants the opportunity to experience the thrill of tall ship sailing in a safe, fun and supportive environment. Individuals meet new friends, learn new skills and increase self-confidence on an exciting, inspiring and rewarding five-day adventure.

In an amazing show of support the Newman’s Own Foundation granted full funding for the 2016 voyage.

The two teenagers, who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2013 and 2014 respectively, were selected after submitting an application to the Foundation, outlining why they would like to participate in the Challenge.

“I think one of my driving forces has been to prove to everyone that just because I have diabetes, doesn’t mean I can’t do everything I have always done and more,” said Tayla, from Albany.

“In my school, sporting clubs and at cadets, I have never hidden my condition because I think it is really important that people see that diabetes isn’t holding me back or going to stop me doing anything I want to do.”

Ciara, who lives in Marmion, wrote a post-voyage letter to Newman’s Own Foundation thanking them for her experience.

“Each day was action packed and really pushed us to new heights. Meeting people who also face other challenges in life was great and made me appreciate what I have been given.”

“I cannot put into words what this sponsorship means to me. This has truly been the trip of a lifetime and I will forever be grateful for to you for giving me this opportunity,” Ciara finished.

Common in both girls’ applications was their frustration at being seen incapable because of their condition and wanting to prove doubters wrong.

ciara-diabetes-wa-2_medium-res“I think the Leeuwin trip is obviously an incredible opportunity for someone with diabetes to get out there and do this, but it is equally as important for those on the trip, who are not living with diabetes, to see how we can live a full, healthy life full of adventures, just like they can.”

The Leeuwin Foundation have recently released their 2017 schedule, which reveals plans for two Ultimate Challenges throughout 2017 – one in March and one in November.

The Leeuwin Foundation is an award-winning provider of personal development and leadership programs that provides key life skills for young people aged 14-25 that they will take into their studies, careers and community.

This year, the Foundation has marked 30 years of award-winning youth development with a trio of celebrations.