The first football team of Type 1 diabetes players
Words by Smiley Team
When Chris Bright was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1999, his initial reaction was dismay. But soon after, he channeled his feelings into driving positive change for others coping with the disease. As a lifelong fan of football and fitness, Chris created the world’s first football team consisting entirely of players with Type 1 diabetes.This incredible achievement didn’t come easy. Chris acknowledges the work it took for him to get to where he is today – and the work it takes every day to maintain his illness and be as healthy as he can.Now, his story is inspiring others, through the work of We Are Undefeatable, a charity partnership campaign, which promotes the benefits of sport for individuals with chronic conditions.Diabetes UK is one of the leading charities supporting the campaign, alongside others including Age UK, Mind, Asthma and Lung UK, and the Stroke Association. The campaign helps those with long-term health conditions do more exercise and experience numerous benefits as a result. Exercise can help tackle loneliness and depression, in addition to the many physical health benefits.For Chris, playing football regularly gave him time to get away from the realities and responsibilities of his illness. “Not only did it give me that escape but it was also a positive experience which allowed me to show that my condition would never define my capabilities,” he said.Diabetes UK is keen to share the benefits that exercise can have on people with diabetes. Not only does exercise help with insulin sensitivity, but it lowers blood pressure, helping to prevent diabetes complications that can be caused by this.More information on diabetes can be found on the Diabetes UK website.