Playing football and playing futsal is such a positive thing, it helps me switch off. You know it gives me 45 minutes an hour,
a 90 minute game where I don’t have to think about what living with type 1 is about. It’s quite an emotional place for me to think back to cause it’s a life changing moment. Because from that moment onwards I was different to
everybody else that I was around. I knew nobody else that had the same condition as me. Everybody looks at you, and thinks there’s nothing wrong with you. But it affected my identity and the fact that I didn’t really choose to be associated with my condition. When you’re hiding it you are less inclined to do the rights things for your treatment and the right things for your condition. For a period of time in my life I managed it, because you choose to hide it so much to fit in with your peers, with children, with teenagers as you grow up. It’s meant my identities have flicked
between feeling you know really identifying with the fact that I live with type one diabetes and then forgetting about it and being a part-time footballer or futsal player, whatever you call it. I went over to Portugal in 2017 and I saw their own diabetes futsal team that they had started, and it was something that I wanted to replicate with a team
that only lived with type 1 diabetes here in the UK. I remember when we first started the team
and the very first training session, nobody knew each other. Literally nothing. They had travelled from all over the country to come to this session. You know we’ve reached out to people on social media and they’ve turned up, not knowing anybody and by the end of it, we’re talking 3 hours later, literally like a band of brothers. Because they felt comfortable in the environment that we’ve created, the openness of talking about the condition, sharing it, people doing injections in front of each other, people blood glucose testing in front of each other, is an environment set up for people with the condition. I’ve seen some of them change completely the way they manage their
condition, like some of them have changed their whole regime on the back of advice that somebody has given them within our team. It’s for the very first time a situation where they all feel that they do the things that they’ve been hiding for years, and then by the end of it, they’ve both got to come to the fact that they love football or futsal and they’ve got this condition that’s challenging. Harbouring that environment has been probably one of the best things that I’ve ever achieved.