A UNIVERSITY of Worcester footballer is getting set to take to the pitch in the Ukraine and compete in the European Futsal Championships for people with diabetes.
It will be the second time 28-year-old Chris Bright, who has had Type 1 diabetes for most of his life, will lead the UK’s all-diabetic-futsal-team to the tournament.
Futsal is a modified form of football played with five players per side on a smaller, typically indoor, pitch with hockey-sized goals and a size four weighted ball.
Last year the UK team finished in 11th place out of a possible 17 as Bosnia and Herzegovina were crowned champions.
As well being the teams player/manager, Chris is also the founder of non-profit organisation Diabetes Football Community (DFC).
The former Pershore Town midfielder said: “DFC encourages those living with diabetes to pursue their passion for football. It’s after setting up DFC that I was able to organise the UK diabetic futsal team.
“We’re all so excited to get out there and show that we can compete.”
Chris has selected 11 players with Type 1 Diabetes and three members of non-playing staff to represent the UK at the this year’s tournament. They will go against nine other teams to battle it out for gold.
Futsal is played all over the world but its roots are embedded in South American culture.
Football superstars Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar all grew up playing the sport before going on to have successful careers in the 11-a-side version of the game.
The UK team enjoyed its final training day at University of Worcester on July 14, ahead of its journey to Kiev today (Sunday).
Chris and his team will then part in the tournament which runs from Monday (July 22) to Friday (July 26) whilst taking part in a number of other events to support the awareness and education surrounding the condition.
Visit www.thediabetesfootballcommunity.com for more.