A young woman with type 1 diabetes is excelling in the golfing world saying her condition gave her the “drive to keep going”.
Hannah McCook, from Scotland, has already experienced success in both the Welsh Open Strokeplay and the Irish Open Strokeplay Championships. She is now hoping to scoop another victory at the Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship.
The 24-year-old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged eight and told the Sunday Herald newspaper that she struggled with the news at first.
She said: “When I was first diagnosed, I thought I’d be unable to do anything and it was hard to accept. But my parents told me Sir Steve Redgrave was a diabetic. He’d won so many gold medals and that acted as a great inspiration. I need to meet him one of these days. I’d love to have a chat with him about it.
“Being a type 1 diabetic has not stopped me doing what I’m doing. There are plenty of people worse off than me. But it’s given me that drive to keep going. You want to show others that it shouldn’t hinder what you do. It’s been a good motivational tool for me.”
Playing golf has now been made easier now that technology to help manage diabetes has significantly improved.
She added: “The [insulin] pump has made life a lot easier. I remember having to inject myself in a queue at Miami airport. That got a few looks from those around me.
“I do blood tests when I prick my finger every so many holes and that can average 14 times a day. I used to have to do injections but now I’m constantly attached to an insulin pump. It’s plugged into my body all the time. I press some little buttons on it and it gives me updates and info on what I need to do.”
Now Hannah has found a way that works for her to control her condition, she is setting her sights on even more ambitious challenges involving her sport.
“I’d like to get in the Scotland team for the World Amateur Team Championships later this year and then try the qualifying school for the Ladies European Tour at end of seaso,” she said.
“Turning pro has always been my goal but more so now that I’ve got a couple of wins and have proved to myself I can win at this level. Until you win you’re never sure if you’d be able to handle it. A win at any level is a step up and you need to have those experiences before turning pro.”
For more information on blood sugar management during exercise, visit our Diabetes and Sport section.

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