Hockey

By Gordon Hall
I was diagnosed as a diabetic in 1981 at the age of 18. The routine of diabetic control has changed significantly over the years, and I am now controlled with short acting injections of Novorapid and have just started taking Insulin Glargine before bed for longer acting control. One thing that has not changed is my passion for sport and I have never let my diabetes stand in the way of enjoying many sporting activities.

I took up hockey at the age of 23 and have therefore never played the game without having diabetes.Hockey is a fast running game that is similar in energy levels to a game of football or rugby. Played now almost exclusively on astro turf there is a strong demand for pitches which means that Saturday games can begin anytime between 10am and 6pm, having a knock on effect to diabetic control. What time to eat, how much to eat and what level of insulin to take are all considerations on match day.I perform best if I have had at least two and a half hours after a meal before playing hockey, and I will eat my meal according to when I am playing. For example if I am playing at 12 noon I will have a late breakfast at 9.30am, or if I am playing at 3.00pm then I will have lunch at 12.30pm. I reduce my insulin dose for the meal before a game by 25% and have a normal sized meal; I never adjust my long acting insulin dose.
A full game of Hockey is a highly energetic game, however the energy consumption can vary depending on the position on the pitch and how many rolling substitutes we have. I generally have a biscuit or some chocolate just before I play and at half time to give me the confidence to really push it, but if I am not going to play a full game I would not have this sugar top up.

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