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$100,000 Sponsorship Of Paediatric Diabetes Centre

22 November 2004

Skycity Announces $100,000 Sponsorship Of
Starship Paediatric Diabetes Centre
During Diabetes Awareness Week (This Week)

Thirteen-year-old Henderson High School student Saneel Swami knows the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise to help prevent the incidence of Type 2 diabetes – a rapidly emerging disease for many young New Zealanders.

Saneel’s symptoms were high blood sugar, passing lots of urine and having no energy. He visited the Starship Paediatric Diabetes Centre originally in October 2003 at the age 12, weighing close to 80kg. Now, diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes he is on the centre’s diabetes management programme, exercising regularly and following a healthier eating pattern and his weight already down to 75kg.

Saneel is one of many young New Zealander’s affected by the increasingly common disease diabetes.

Andrew Young, Chief Executive, Starship Foundation, says there is a persistent epidemic of diabetes in young people in Auckland and that a $100,000 sponsorship by SKYCITY announced today, is crucial for the city.

“Children in Auckland are reported to be the least active in New Zealand and do not meet activity targets. One in seven Auckland children (14%) are now identified at obese with rates highest amongst Pacific Island children (24%) and Maori (16%),” he says.

SKYCITY Auckland today announced a $100,000 grant to become the principal sponsor of the Starship Paediatric Diabetes Centre currently located at Greenlane Clinical Centre in Auckland.

The Paediatric Diabetes Centre offers services to children and young people with both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in the Auckland region. It provides individual education and management programmes for young people and their families following diagnosis. As they grow and develop, the centre also provides specialist care plans, ongoing education and management as well as access to new technologies and the latest treatment options.

SKYCITY’s sponsorship announcement of the Starship Paediatric Diabetes Centre coincides with the New Zealand national Diabetes Awareness Week (22 – 29 November 2004), which aims to raise awareness about diabetes and prevention methods.

The Diabetes Awareness Week slogan - “Nip It In the Bud”- focuses on strategies such as promoting physical activity, improving nutrition and preventing obesity – all critical in reducing the incidence of diabetes. In tandem, Diabetes Youth Auckland is promoting “Know the Difference” during Diabetes Awareness Week – to help people realise the difference between Type 1 Diabetes which is unpreventable and Type 2 Diabetes which is preventable.

SKYCITY Manager Media Relations, Delwyn Lewer, says this new community sponsorship extends the long-standing relationship SKYCITY has with Starship and children’s health.

“Type 2 Diabetes is becoming increasingly prevalent in our young people. It is generally misunderstood but also relatively simple to prevent and manage,” she says.

“As a leading business within the country’s largest city, SKYCITY is keen to lend support to this important initiative.

“As part of the sponsorship we’re encouraging our staff at SKYCITY to be diabetes aware with free diabetes seminars and active participation in a “Get Fun, Get Fit” campaign running from 22 – 29 November 2004.

“We’re encouraging staff to take part in the ‘Nip in the Bud’ free public walk on 21 November (organised by Diabetes Auckland) and we’re offering even healthier food choices at our staff cafeteria during Diabetes Awareness Week to further educate staff about healthy meal options,” says Ms Lewer.

SKYCITY Auckland staff will be posted out information packs explaining what diabetes is, how it can be prevented and healthy eating and exercise tips.

SKYCITY employs more than 2,500 staff at its Auckland property.

Vouchers featuring special offers have also been acquired from Auckland based companies that promote a healthy lifestyle, to encourage staff to eat well and exercise.

SKYCITY Auckland’s $100,000 sponsorship will fund:

The refurbishment of the paediatric family/group room at the Starship Paediatric Diabetes Centre, car leasing for the project team; computer packages for interactive teaching sessions for children and young people with predominantly type 1 and 2 diabetes to help them understand and manage the problem; mobile diabetes management and prevention teaching kits; healthy lifestyle tips and support for the Ministry of Health’s “Push Play Days,” which promote a more active and healthy lifestyle.

The money will also support a redevelopment of the centre’s family room when relocated to the old National Women’s Hospitals in early 2005 once offices have been refurbished.

SKYCITY has had a relationship with Starship’s Children’s Health since 1997, and is a “Five Star Sponsor” of the Starship Foundation. Highlights of the relationship have included fundraising to create Puawaitahi, a “Multi-Agency Centre” for abused children and young people. Since Puawaitahi’s opening in November 2002, SKYCITY has assisted with additional fundraising to provide the centre with education materials, clothing, transport, toys and food vouchers.


- Diabetes is having too much sugar in the blood. This happens because the pancreas cannot make enough insulin.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 is not preventable but can be managed. People with Type 1 diabetes do not make insulin or have very little. They tend to lose weight very quickly because their body is actually being starved and their health rapidly deteriorates and they would die if insulin were not given. Therefore they require insulin by injection plus healthy eating to stay alive and maintain a good health.
- Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by following a healthy diet and exercise regime. Becoming overweight is almost always the cause of the body becoming resistant to insulin and this can trigger Type 2 diabetes, even in young people. This form of diabetes can be treated with weight loss and regular physical exercise. Medication in the form of tablets is also required to reduce the resistance to insulin or to stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin.
- The third type is commonly known as diabetes of pregnancy - caused when a woman has high levels of glucose in her blood during pregnancy.

For further information about diabetes in general visit

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