The parents of a Welsh schoolboy have revealed how archery has helped their son to better manage his type 1 diabetes.
Theo Williams was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition as a toddler and was left frustrated as he struggled to adapt his diabetes management to take part in active sports.
However, a family friend introduced him to archery which had a profound effect on the 10-year-old.
Speaking to Welsh newspaper Free Press, Theo’s dad Kevin Williams said: “When he saw David’s bow he took an interest in it. David offered to take him down to the archery club. It just progressed from there.”
David Porter, who was instrumental in Theo taking up the activity, added: “The deal with his parents was he had to learn how to control his blood sugar levels if he would continue to shoot.
“The way he handles himself is brilliant. A lot of kids will mess around at the club, but he keeps his concentration throughout.”
Theo is about to embark upon his first competitio, which will involve a lot of walking and shooting, but both David and his dad have absolute faith in him.
Kevin said: “He loves it. It’s something he looks forward to doing every week. It’s his little break from life. All the boys down there treat him like a son and a best mate. The way the club have taken him in and looked after him, I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Type 1 diabetes need not be a barrier to taking part in sports, but some people may struggle more than others with managing insulin doses around activity.
Kevin said the sport has helped Theo understand and manage his condition better as it is “really disciplined” and his son has learnt to recognise when his blood glucose levels are high and low.
Kevin added: “His younger brother Sebastia, who’s seve, was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was two years old. We try not to hold them back with what they can and can’t do. It doesn’t matter if they are diabetic, they can overcome anything.”
Lee Palmer, owner of Theo’s club the Wye Valley Archery Club, said: “He’s an awesome shot. For the amount of time he has been shooting, it’s amazing. Archery is a low impact sport so he is able to manage himself.”
Picture: Kevin Williams/Free Press