A SWIMMER with Type 1 diabetes has proven that you can achieve ‘whatever you want’ after taking part in a swimming competition in Slovenia.

Mark Straw, a retired bank manager, took part in the Masters European Swimming Championships and swam for his local Bracknell Swimming Club in a 3km stretch of open water.

He said: “Through my swimming I hope to raise awareness of diabetes and to show that the condition shouldn’t stop you from achieving whatever it is you want to do.”

Around 10 per cent of people who have diabetes have Type 1 and this means they are unable produce insulin.

The 60-year-old was diagnosed when he was just 11, but this has not stopped him from achieving his goals.

He added: “It’s been a remarkable journey. Swimming the open water race in the idyllic water of Lake Bled was such a fantastic experience

“The vistas were incredible and inspired me to finish in seventh place out of 35 competitors in my age group – which was an amazing result for me.”

The swimmer is also a member of the Diabetes UK Basingstoke group which helps support people living with the condition.

He said: “Our group is an important local resource for the diabetes community. If you have diabetes and live in the local area, please come along to one of our regular meetings for help and support.”

Jill Steaton, Regional Head of the South East for Diabetes UK, said: “Mark is a really positive example of someone who has lived with diabetes for many years but hasn’t let his condition stop him from doing what he loves. Well done Mark. You’re an inspiration to us all.” For more information about the group go to: https://basingstoke.diabetesukgroup.org/