- Across Australia, more than 1.3 million people have diabetes, and 283 people are diagnosed every day.
- Lions in Australia have successfully reached their goal of logging a combined distance travelled that will exceed Australia’s circumference (25,760 kilometres) by World Diabetes Day in November.
- Diabetes has been named one of the Lions International’s five key focus areas and Lions Australia is encouraging those in their communities to stay active, particularly during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
We were thrilled to see so many people putting on their walking shoes, logging some kilometres and helping raise awareness for diabetes.
Australia’s largest service organisation, Lions Australia, has successfully “lapped the map” of Australia seven times, raising awareness for diabetes and encouraging Australians to stay healthy during the pandemic.
Lions throughout the country have been putting on their best walking shoes in recent weeks and months, successfully reaching their goal of logging a combined distance travelled that exceeds Australia’s circumference (25,760 kms) by World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2021. The organisation reported that it has not only lapped the map once, but has already logged a combined distance of 185,602 kms, almost seven times the distance of Australia’s circumference.
Launched last year, the “Lions Lap the Map” family-friendly walks and campaigns in communities raised awareness of the diabetes epidemic in Australia. While COVID-19 prevented large community events from taking place, Lions Australia was determined to continue the Lap the Map campaign this year, and it has been a resounding success.
Lions of Valentine Lions Club (District 201N3) at the registration desk during the event.
“COVID-19 changed how we live and work and never has there been a more important time to highlight the importance of exercise and healthy living,” said Pat Mills, Lions national diabetes coordinator. “We were thrilled to see so many people putting on their walking shoes, logging some kilometres and helping raise awareness of diabetes.”
From events in shopping centres and gyms to walks in parks to diabetes screenings for attendees and access to informative health professionals, there was a wide range of events held as part of the Lap the Map campaign.
“We have had Lions clubs from all over Australia report a combined distance travelled of 185,602 kms with more still to come in coming weeks,” Mills said. “More than US$14,000 has also been raised at events and will be donated to Lions Diabetes Awareness programs and the Australian Lions Foundation. Thank you very much to all of the clubs and their communities that participated in Lap the Map events this year.
“Diabetes can lead to serious health issues affecting the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and teeth,” she added. “In most high-income countries, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation. It’s expected to affect 629 million adults by 2045. Lions across Australia are committed to doing what we can to increase education around diabetes.”
Early diagnosis, optimal treatment and effective ongoing support and management reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications, and, in recent years, Lions clubs across Australia have focused on raising awareness and funds to support more vital research on the diagnoses and treatment.
Lions of Mitcham Inspirante Lions Club (District 201V5) posing for pictures during the "Lap the map" event
Since the first Lions club was formed in Australia 70 years ago, the clubs have grown dramatically in size and impact with more than 1,300 clubs now in Australia giving back to their communities. One hundred percent of funds donated to Lions go towards funding Lion projects.
District 201V5 Zone 7, members from South Vermont & Box Hill Lions Club walking together. (including PDG Pat Mills MD201 Diabetes Coordinator & PID Tony Benbow front row)
To see photos from Lions Lap the Map events, visit the Lions Lap the Map Facebook page.
Lion Sari-Elle Kraemer is a member of Lions Australia and has held the role of Zone 7 chairperson, Coogee Lions co-president and PR officer for Lions clubs in the Sydney/Norfolk Island district.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted communities around the world in different ways. To ensure we’re serving safely wherever we live, Lions should follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization or local health authorities. Visit our Serving Safely page for resources that can help you safely serve your community.