The John McLaren Youth Awards
The John McLaren Youth Awards recognise the pursuit of excellence across cultural, academic and sporting fields by young people with diabetes. The Awards seek to encourage young New Zealanders with diabetes to achieve their goals despite the daily challenges they face living with the condition. This year’s winners each received $1,500 to enable them to attend sporting, academic, and cultural events at a national and/or international level.
We received five fantastic applications and had a tough time choosing the winners.
This year’s winners are:
Sporting - Amiya Fotu 14 years old
Amiya is Year 9 at Westlake Girls High School and was diagnosed with T1 Diabetes at the age of 4. Her parents have always encouraged her to participate in as many sports as possible and maintain a healthy lifestyle. She has played many different sports including Netball, Tag Football, Touch, Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball and Rugby 7’s since the age of 5.
Amiya has been selected to represent the North Harbour Basketball Association U15s at the International Basketball tournament in Melbourne in January. The prize money will contribute significantly to the tour cost of $2,500. The tournament is a great opportunity to play against other elite athletes at her level and will help raise her profile for her future sporting career. Amiya’s goal is to represent New Zealand at the highest level in the future. She would also like to inspire the next generation of kids who have T1 Diabetes to follow their sporting dreams and prove that you can achieve anything if you work hard and stay focussed.
Academic – Lance Ruehorn 18 years old
Lance is passionate about tourism and hospitality but admits there has been many challenges with trying to continue his exploration of these sectors with regards to his diabetes. He is now back in a position that he is comfortable with, reduced his Hba1c to a controllable level, knows his limits, talks about how things are going with his control and understands what steps to take to ensure he doesn’t “fall back to old ways.”
The prize money will go towards helping Lance achieving his goals of completing a diploma of hospitality and working in an industry that he’s passionate about.
Lance tries to not let diabetes affect his willingness to learn and try something new. He hopes to inspire others with diabetes to try new things and make the most of every opportunity.