A REDDITCH man is flying to Ukraine this weekend to 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 at the tournament.
Futsal is a modified form of five-a-side football and the team will be hoping to improve on last year where they finished 11th out of a possible 17 – with Bosnia & Herzegovina emerging as champions.
Church Hill resident Chris, who manages and plays in the team, is also the founder of non-profit organisation Diabetes Football Community (DFC).
The former Bromsgrove Sporting player 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 we can compete.”
Chris has selected 11 players with Type 1 Diabetes and three non-playing staff to represent the UK at 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 starring in the 11-a-side version of the beautiful game.
The UK team enjoyed its final training day at the University of Worcester on July 14, before heading for Kiev this Sunday, July 21.
The tournament runs from Monday, July 22 to Friday, July 26 and members will also take part in a number of other events to support awareness and education of diabetes.
Follow the team at www.thediabetesfootballcommunity.com