A FORMER Bromsgrove Sporting and Rovers who has had Type 1 diabetes for 17 years has launched a new organisation to help others in the game with the condition.
Chris Bright, 26, used to play for Rovers’ youth, reserve and first team before joining newly-formed Sporting until January 2013.
He has now turned his attention to futsal and, as well as playing for the Birmingham Tigers in the FA National Super League North, he recently became the first Type 1 diabetic to play for Wales, making his debut in November in a friendly against Latvia at the National Velodrome in Newport.
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.
The Diabetes Football Community has also launched its own social media pages and website where Chris writes his own blogs, offers tips for diabetic footballers and features stories from others in the game with the condition.
Chris said: “I’ve gone on to do reasonably well in the sport but others aren’t quite so lucky or they need help.
“This is why I felt it was important to create a vehicle and a network to allow people to share their experience.”
He added despite how much more was known about diabetes, there still was not that much help out there for diabetic footballers or sports people in general.
“Ways to control diabetes has come a long way but that hasn’t transposed into the game.”
And he said clubs and the FA needed to do more.
As well as launching the organisation and website, he has also been in contact with other professional footballers and wants to get them on board for his campaign.
He is also hoping to visit clubs to educate them and the staff into how they could help diabetics.
Chris particularly wanted to raise awareness this month, around the time of National Diabetes Week, which ran between June 11 and 17.
Visit www.thediabetesfootballcommunity.com to visit the website.
It is also on Twitter – @TDFCdiabetes.