Coeliac Awareness Week has just concluded, running from 6 to 12 June. Lisa Jury, a Whitianga resident,
is the national health promotion manager for Coeliac New Zealand and came to visit The Informer
“The aim of this year’s theme, ‘Thriving: Living Your Best Coeliac Life’, is to inspire those living with
coeliac disease to really thrive and live well every day,” Lisa said. “The ongoing message of Coeliac
New Zealand is to build a greater understanding about the need for gluten free food to be safe and
accessible for people with coeliac disease, and educating New Zealanders that coeliac disease is a
serious inflammatory condition but with the right support, people with [the condition] can truly thrive.”
Earlier this year, several people participated in the national Cycle for Coeliac Challenge. This fundraiser, cycling from Cape Reinga to Bluff from
1 March to 6 June, involved relay teams. Two members of “Team Whitianga”, Jill and Lou O’Reilly (pictured), rode the most kilometres out of all the teams participating.
To take on such a strenuous event with coeliac disease, requires a lot of preparation and training before the event and monitoring along the way. Lisa’s experience and training (she holds a postgraduate Certificate in Health Science specialising in Sport and Exercise) enabled her to write training programmes for and monitor the progress of some of the participants. “Coeliac Awareness Week is an important date on the calendar, especially for those living with coeliac disease,” Lisa said. “The crossed grain logo [of Coeliac New Zealand] allows people with coeliac disease to choose safe gluten free foods and shines a light on how the hospitality sector can cater for people with coeliac disease with the support of the Coeliac New Zealand Dining Out Programme.” The Cycle for Coeliac Challenge was supported by The Warehouse Whitianga, Countdown and Nature Valley.