Stadium blue for diabetes

Forsyth Barr Stadium will give Dunedin residents the blues tonight.

The stadium roof will be lit blue from 8pm until midnight to mark World Diabetes Day today.

"We're very excited about it, as Dunedin is the only place in New Zealand that recognises World Diabetes Day and we will lead the rest of the world when we light the stadium roof blue," project manager Karin Bowen said yesterday.

"For many years now, iconic buildings around the world have been lit up blue to mark World Diabetes Day, but this is the first time it's been done in Dunedin and the first time it's ever been done in New Zealand. "

Activities at the stadium today include an exercise class at 11am led by University of Otago physiotherapist Chris Higgs, followed by talks by Otago cricketer Craig Cumming and hairdresser Errol Sharp about living with diabetes.

University nutrition department students will host a diabetes-friendly lunch at midday and a cooking demonstration at 1pm will feature 2011 Masterchef television programme winner Nadia Lim, a dietitian.

At 1.30pm, 100 pupils from Northeast Valley and Andersons Bay primary schools will start walking from the Octagon to the stadium.

"Exercise and diet are the key to management of diabetes, so they will be playing a range of sports on the stadium turf," Mrs Bowen said.

World Diabetes Day was established last year to promote diabetes education and management.

"There are an estimated 7000 people in Otago with diabetes and about 200,000 people in New Zealand," Mrs Bowen said.

"That's about one person in 20.

"Everyone knows someone with diabetes, if they haven't got it themselves."

The event has been organised by Diabetes Otago, the Otago Diabetes Research Trust and the Edgar Centre.


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