Insulin pumps and test strips were just as common as shin pads and cleats on the pitch at the Medtronic Junior Cup. The sixth annual event, held August 24 to 26 at Switzerland’s La Pontaise Olympic Stadium in Lausanne, brought together 132 children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) who represented 12 countries in an international soccer tournament. JDRF’s affiliates in Canada and the United Kingdom helped recruit those nations’ players. Though they didn’t all speak the same language, the competitors, ages 8 to 12, all shared an understanding of blood-sugar levels, carbohydrate counts, and corner kicks.
This year’s event received 730 applications from across Europe and North America. In addition to Canada and the UK, teams were fielded from Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland. The international ambassador for this year’s tournament was Christian Karembeu, a midfielder with the 1998 World Cup–champion French soccer team and now a scout for Arsenal (UK) Football Club.
JDRF gives a shout-out to Team Canada, which placed ninth overall and received the tournament Diversity Award. Congratulations to: Lianne Adair (Winnipeg, MB), Mathieu Alary (Longeuil, QC), Dino Begovic (Mississauga, ON), Daphné Boily (Québec, QC), Liam Downie (Brampton, ON), Will Harrison (Charlottetown, PEI), Caleb Pope (Coldstream, BC), Sarah Stewart (Kelowna, BC), Michael Thornton (Toronto, ON), Brandon Vardy (Goulds, NL), and Matthew Wrobel (Mississauga, ON).
Three cheers go out to Team UK, which placed 10th overall! Congratulations to: Adam Alais (Nottingham), Ben Boardman (Surrey), Rebecca Coutinho (Surrey), Georgie Doe (London), Marcus Gilroy (Wiltshire), Kyle Gouldbourne-Watson (Bedford), Cree Gregory-Sayce (Essex), Tom Littler (Lancashire), twin brothers Marcus and Ben Ordever (Horsham), and Chris Ratcliffe (Hampshire).