Ole Ole, go Aran go!

A 12-year-old local boy, Aran Donnelly from Newbridge will shortly be off to represent his country in the Diabetes Junior Cup.

A 12-year-old local boy, Aran Donnelly from Newbridge will shortly be off to represent his country in the Diabetes Junior Cup.

Aran will be part of the first everRepublic of Ireland team of children with Type 1 diabetes representing their country at the Diabetes Junior World Cup. The tournament, now in its sixth year, will see over 130 children with Type 1 diabetes from 12 countries travelling to the Olympic Stadium in Lausanne, Switzerland in late August to participate in a 7 –a –side competition.

Aran was one of eleven players selected following trials to which over 80 children with Type 1 diabetes between the ages of 8 and 12 years from all over the country recently attended in Dalymount Park.

Aran who has Type 1 diabetes for 3 years and plays locally for Newbridge Town said “playing for my country means everything to me and I can’t wait to go”.

Niall Quinn met up with the team at their latest training session and offered plenty of tips and advice on how to prepare for international tournament football and presented each player with their Irish jersey. “It is every child’s dream to represent their country and this is a fantastic opportunity for these players to live that dream” said Niall.

Aran’s parents will be travelling to Switzerland and his dad Peter said “Aran’s a great lad, always has a ball at his feet, a good sense of humour, has a great outlook towards living with diabetes and it’s a great achievement for him and all other children living with the condition to be able to show, they too can live a normal fulfilling life and follow their dreams despite the condition”

Diabetes Ireland, CEO Kieran O’Leary said “living with type 1 diabetes is not easy and we are delighted to be able to provide this unique, positive experience for these players and their families. It is our firm intention to be involved in this event for many years to come offering more and more children with diabetes the opportunity to participate in this event.”

- Paula Campbell