Home' Air Force News : February 14th 2013 Contents 23
February 14, 2013
He's a man
on a mission
CPL Sam Scully will carry with him more than
just a glucometer when he contests the ironman
triathlon in Cairns on June 9.
CPL Scully, who was diagnosed with type-one
(T1) diabetes when he was 26 in 2009, will also
carry the hopes of young people with the condi-
tion in the 3.8km swim/180km bike ride/42.2km
He has agreed to raise money for Juvenile
Diabetes Research Foundation which invests in
research that it hopes will find a cure for diabetes.
CPL Scully, a ground support equipment fitter
at RAAF Base Townsville, has to inject himself
with insulin six times a day, but said: "I personal-
ly have no problems at all managing my diabetes
and I don't think twice about jamming a needle
into my body.
"It is a cruel disease on kids and their families
and my desire for a cure is purely for them. Most
T1 diabetics are diagnosed very young. If a child
is diagnosed at age five, they will have had almost
30,000 injections by their 18th birthday, and this
doesn't include multiple finger-prick tests every
"If it was tough taking your kids for immuni-
sations, try being the parent of a T1 diabetic."
CPL Scully was quite the young sportsman
when he was going up. He loved swimming and
playing soccer, and was ranked NSW's top under-
15 squash player.
When he joined the Air Force in 2007, his
focus moved to running.
But in 2009, he felt as though the sky fell in
when he was diagnosed. T1 diabetes is an auto-
immune attack that kills insulin-producing cells
in the pancreas, leaving the person unable to
produce insulin. The cause is not fully understood
and there is no cure. Insulin is only a treatment,
not a cure.
"I was told by diabetes experts that I'd be
treading on egg shells for the rest of my life,"
CPL Scully said.
The fear was vigorous activity could bring on
'hypos' -- a drop in blood sugar levels that causes
unconsciousness and can lead to coma and even
death if severe enough.
But CPL Scully didn't give up.
"I am not an average or statistic in a medical
text book, I won't listen to what people say I can't
do because of diabetes," he said.
"To prove perceptions about diabetics wrong,
I wanted to do the most demanding sport I could
find and not only participate, but be good at it, so
I came upon ironman triathlon through a work-
mate and the distances and endurance involved
in the sport were just so stupidly enormous that I
knew it would be perfect."
CPL Scully said the effort needed for the sport
still didn't compare to the effects of diabetes.
"Ironman is the perfect sport for diabetes as it
demands so much determination and endurance.
T1 diabetes is the ultimate endurance event -- it is
24/7 and is incurable, there are no holidays from
it, so 10-11 hours on an ironman race course is a
walk in the park by comparison," he said.
"Second only to insulin, frequent vigorous
exercise is the best treatment for diabetes. It's a
balancing act though."
CPL Scully is confident he will complete the
race in June without complications to his health.
During the past two years, he has competed in
numerous triathlons, marathons, rides and various
other athletic events and during training he has to
test his blood levels at regular intervals for signs
Last year he competed in the half-ironman in
Cairns and finished in 5hr 15min, despite a stress
fracture in his right foot.
He's hoping to come in under 11 hours in the
full-distance event this year.
He will carry a film cannister-sized glucom-
eter for much of the race and test his blood levels
six times along the way -- before the start, after
the swim, during the ride, at the end of the ride
and twice during the marathon run when he will
have to slow to a walk to take the finger-prick
test.He will also carry a supply of lollies and sugar
to keep the hypos at bay.
Make a donation at http://fundraise.teamcurediabetes.
ENDURANCE: CPL Sam Scully in action during the bike leg of a recent triathlon. He will
take his experience a step further at the Cairns Ironman in June.
Photo: Simone Scully Photography
Smylie is all grins again after retaining golf title
WGCDR Craig Stallard
SGT Rod Smylie retained the Air
Force championship at the ADF Golf
Association nationals at Canberra's
Federal Golf Club last December.
FSGT Freddie Semmler upstaged
many in the practice round by mak-
ing an elusive hole-in-one on the short
16th; the 4th hole-in-one in the event's
28-year history, but it wasn't enough
to keep SGT Smylie from finishing 8th
overall. He will represent the ADF this
year at the ADFGA versus State match-
es. Air Force's SQNLDR Sam Harkiss
and CPL Brendan Creek also finished in
the top 10 and will represent the ADF.
Air Force's SGT Corey Faehrmann
managed the course conditions, playing
consistently across the week to take out
the nett event.
Overall, Air Force golfers performed
solidly at the 2012 championships with
victories in the nett, regional handicap
and senior divisions.
The national champion golfer was
Army's CPL Trent Fortescue who won
the title for the second year in a row,
eclipsing the field by eight shots.
In the regional handicap final for the
WO2 Peter Medlicott Memorial Trophy,
FSGT Chris Moore, of RAAF Base
Edinburgh, took the title with steady
golf over the four rounds.
In the 'old warhorse' category, SGT
Greg Fraser, of RAAF Base Amberley,
took out the seniors' title.
This year's event is scheduled for
December 9-13 at the Federal Golf
Club in Canberra. Entry forms will be
available from August 1. Golfers can
contact their regional representative
for details via the ADFGA website:
at fun run for
MAJ Jo-Anne Ikin
ADF women shone in the 2012
annual Sussan Women's Fun Run
which raised more than $80,000 in
the fight against breast cancer.
Both 10km and 5km races were
held at St Kilda in Melbourne last
December in which more than
3500 women ran or walked for the
All three services were repre-
sented, with six women in a field of
2187 participants for the 10km run.
FUN RUNNERS: SQNLDR Elizabeth Camilleri, left, with SPR
Gabrielle Betros and MAJ Jo-Anne Ikin after the 10km fun run.
prove perceptions about diabetics wrong, I wanted to do the most
manding sport I could find and not only participate, but be good at it.
SQNLDR Elizabeth Camilleri
placed a very close third for the
ADF contingent in a time of 46min
50sec, not far behind Army's CPL
Stephanie Hall, who finished sixth
overall in a time of 38min 48sec.
The 5km race had 1390 women
participate, with the ADF repre-
sented by three individuals as
well as a team from Army's 22
FSGT Diane Rogers was the
third ADF runner across the line in
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