Back to Friends for Life 2007 Conference Special Guest Monique Hanley
Special Guest Monique Hanley

28-year old Monique Hanley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the midst of a burgeoning basketball career at age 19. The new condition, combined with the stress of University commitments and living away from home, had a significant impact on her basketball form. She retired from the sport three years later. In need of a new sporting pursuit, cycling was chosen. Thus commenced a partnership that has been going from strength to strength. At first, cycling was a means to keep fit, a way to commute and get around inner Melbourne. But while travelling and working in Canada, it also became a new way to tour, and Monique rode 7,800km in 66 days from coast to coast, exploring the wide range of communities and countryside of Canada. The following year she followed the Tour de France, on her own and completely independent - equipped with a small tent, sleeping bag, language guide, diabetes supplies and not much else. The return from France gave motivation to develop opportunities for other type one diabetics in the Melbourne region to challenge themselves. HypoActive, a group dedicated to promoting an active lifestyle for type 1 diabetics, was born in 2004, co-founded by Monique. The group initially provided opportunities for type 1 diabetics to complete the Murray to Moyne Cycle Relay, an event requiring participants to cover, in relay, 520km in under 24 hours. In 2007, HypoActive has expanded to provide type 1 diabetic teams in a 24 hour swim challenge (the MS MegaSwim), a 15.2km fun run (Run for the Kids), the Murray to Moyne Cycle Relay (520km in under 24 hours) and the Murray River Marathon (a five day canoe/paddle challenge covering 500km). Type 1 diabetics from across Australia and even New Zealand have participated in HypoActive events, learning from their diabetic peers that with the right management, anything is possible.

Monique has also furthered her cycling career, at first venturing into road racing, then followed by a transition to track racing. In 2007 she is currently the State champion in the Individual Pursuit and Points Score, as well as the Country Victorian champion. At the National Track Championships in February, she collected bronze in the Individual Pursuit, and contributed to her State of Victoria's medal collections of silver in the Points Score and Scratch races, by playing an important support team role in both events.

Monique is a team member of Team Type 1, an all-type 1 diabetic team competing in the 2007 Race Across America who will attempt to set a new record in their category.

In the future, Monique plans to represent Australia in the women's team pursuit, which will make its debut at the 2008 World Championships. This is no easy goal, as Australia has one of the strongest line up in the world of female pursuiters.

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Last Updated: Sunday November 11, 2007 10:19:28
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