A team of 10 players, all living with diabetes, will be travelling to Ukraine on 21st July to represent their country at the 2019 “Diabetes Euro Futsal” Championship.
The championship, which began after the last UEFA European Championship, is a 16 team tournament with teams competing from all over Europe with the Republic of Ireland having a team in the Championship for the first time.
Futsal is a variant of association football played on a hard court indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football played a smaller, harder, low-bounce ball at a high intensity using unlimited substitutes. The idea of the championship is to demonstrate that having diabetes does not stop people having an active and full life, which includes playing high intensity sport.
Representing their country will be players from 7 different counties who came through a series of trials which saw over counties who came through a series of trials which saw over 40 players attending.
Organiser, Cathal Fleming came up with the idea after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and seeing it online. An avid soccer player, he approached Diabetes Ireland, the national charity for people with diabetes, who immediately got behind the idea to help bring it to fruition.
Cathal who will be the goalkeeper said “being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2016 was very tough and I found it extremely difficult to come to terms with the diagnosis and the impact on my daily lifestyle. But now it has offered me this fantastic opportunity to represent my country and I am really looking forward to it.
The commitment from the lads who regularly travel to the Sport Ireland Centre in Abbotstown for training from all over the country is unbelievable and shows their commitment, as the first ever Irish representative team in the competition, to giving our best performance possible.We know the competition will be tough as many of the other teams will have more experience than us but we have the Irish fighting spirit in abundance”.
Kieran O’Leary, CEO of Diabetes Ireland said, this is a fantastic opportunity for the lads and is something we want to build on year on year and see more young people with diabetes getting an opportunity to represent their country at this tournament. The greatest challenge for the lads will be coping with the stifling heat and humidity and managing their blood glucose levels effectively so they remain fully prepared for each game. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to fully fund the lads so they are all currently fundraising to raise funds for gear, travel and accommodation etc. so any help support will be greatly appreciated”.
Michael Lynch Galway
Richard Grimes Dublin
Craig Cairns O’Shea Tipperary
Desmond Kirwan Wexford
Cathal Fleming Dublin
Aidan Bissett Dublin
Robert Tracey Kildare
Niall Smith Limerick
Shane Murphy Cork City
Mark Radford Dublin
Eoghan Devitt Dublin
To make a donation to the team fund, please CLICK HERE