First all-diabetes futsal team in UK celebrates European milestone

The UK’s first ever all-diabetes futsal team has successfully competed in its first ever championship after only being formed a year ago.
The team is part of The Diabetes Football Community (TDFC), both of which were founded by former semi-professional footballer and Wales international futsal player, Chris Bright. He has had type 1 diabetes for 17 years and set up TDFC to raise awareness of the condition.
The 27-year-old successfully got the team out to Slovakia in July to compete in the DiaEuros, a European futsal championship competition, where they eventually came 11th place out of a possible 17 with Bosnia and Herzegovina being crowned the winners. The UK team had only been training since 2017.
Chris told the Bromsgrove Standard: “None of us left disappointed because there’s only so far you can get with a brand new team. A lot of the games were very close and we were very unlucky.”
The DiaEuros competition was first held after the 2012 European Football Championships in Ukraine and was developed to demonstrate that diabetes does not stop people with the condition having an active life and playing sports.
It is a slightly different form of the traditional football game which features 5-a-side teams who play on an indoor pitch using hockey-sized goals and a size four weighted ball.
It has become particularly popular among people with diabetes because it allows rolling substitutions, which means players can easily come off to check their blood glucose levels regularly and take more breaks.
The 27-year-old added: “I did a bit of research on the internet, made some connections and then flew out to watch the Portuguese futsal team play. Seeing those guys train really made me want to bring the sport back with me.
“We had about three training sessions before we were on the flight to Slovakia so it’s easy to see how new we are to this.”
Now the aim is to recruit more players, improve their game and get playing as many friendly games as they can. We wish them all the best in their future games.