Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Team Type 1 head to South Africa - did you know what they are about?


In November 2010, organisers of The Cell C Tour of South Africa officially announced that the dream of a South African cycling tour had finally become a reality.  The 8-day, 7-stage 2.2 Category cycle race will take place from the 19th to the 26th February 2011. The Tour has a uniquely South African flavour and takes place in Gauteng, the Eastern and Western Cape, starting in Johannesburg and finishing in Paarl.

Team Type 1 has been announced as one of the international teams to participate in The Cell C Tour of South Africa in February this year. 
 The team will travel to South Africa to compete in a world class cycling event andtell an inspiring tale of how dreams become realities through dedication and determination. Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge met in 2003 at a local USA college race. Both cyclists were taking insulin before the start of the race and realized that they had something in common way beyond the world of cycling. They were athletes with Type 1 diabetes, competing alongside their fellow riders and living their dream.

The cyclists’ friendship developed, alongside a friendly rivalry between them, both on and off their bikes. Phil, frustrated with Joe's casual approach to his diabetes, devised a plan to motivate change. The friends ran a wager where the person with the higher blood sugar would pick up the tab for dinner. Joe paid for dinner for three months in a row. Eventually, he began to manage his blood sugar correctly and one night won the bet, with Phil having to pay for dinner. Winning the bet that night was a light-bulb moment for Joe, affirming that anyone can implement change and become a competitive athlete, even people living with Type 1 Diabetes.
Phil and Joe decided to inspire others. Their vision was to unite people living with diabetes, motivating them to take control of the lives. This is where the idea for their dream team was born, Team Type 1 - the team with the mission to change perceptions.

It all began with a single cycling event in 2005 where eight cyclists, all living with type 1 diabetes entered the “Race Across America”. The diabetes and cycling community believed that competing in a 3,000 mile, non-stop cycling race wasn’t possible. Not only was it possible, but they won the race. Since Team Type 1’s first Race Across America, the team has won the race four times and still holds the Race Across America record for the fastest trans-continental crossing in just 5 days, 9 hours and 5 minutes, set in 2009.

The Team participates in other diabetes related events including conferences, community events, presentations to medical professionals and delivery of life-saving diabetes supplies to those in need,  inspiring many of those living with diabetes to believe that they can achieve anything they can dream of if they manage their diabetes correctly.