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Toby from Asda Havant plays for the UK at European futsal tournament

July 26, 2018 11:19am
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Everyone at our Havant store is rooting for our colleague Toby McCauley who's playing for the UK at the DiaEuros – the European futsal championship for people with type one diabetes.

The UK team was founded last year and is playing in the tournament in Slovakia for the first time. Futsal is a variant of five-a-side football, played indoors with a smaller low-bounce ball to place a greater emphasis on skill.

Toby, who's 24, is fresh section leader at the Havant store and has worked there for seven years.

He said: "I was diagnosed with type one diabetes five years ago. It was a big shock.

"I used to play semi-professional football and considered myself pretty fit, but I started losing weight and drinking lots of fluid. I was also getting up three or four times in the night to go to the toilet. These are all symptoms but obviously at the time I didn't know that.

Toby McCauley from Asda Havant playing for the UK at DiaEuro

"I tried to get fit for the start of the football season and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't run properly. So I went to the doctor, had a blood test and was diagnosed.

"I inject myself with insulin every time I eat, and once before I go to bed.

Toby McCauley from Asda Havant plays futsal for the UK

"I stopped playing for a few years, then I saw something on Twitter about the diabetes football community.

"I went down for a trial and was then selected for the UK team for the Diaeuro tournament. I've also started playing 11 a side football again.

"I've mentioned the tournament to colleagues and they've all been really supportive, wishing me well."

The store's community champion Katy Trapani said: "He's a wonderful colleague, a good team player and just a great guy – and all of the colleagues are wishing him well for the tournament.

"We're excited to hear all about it and hear how the team get on. We're also keen to support Toby and the team in the future by hopefully organising fundraising events for them."

Chris Bright founded The Diabetes Football Community that runs the team last year and has organised the team to head to Slovakia for the tournament.

He said: "Diabetes can be a limiting and challenging condition, but I think we're giving people hope and inspiring them too. Yes, diabetes is a disability, but we want to focus on what you can do if you have diabetes rather than what you can't.

"I think there will be a lot of emotion before our first game when the national anthem is played. I'm hugely proud of the team already, whatever happens in the tournament.

"We've only ever played one game together, against the England visually impaired futsal team, and I think most of the countries we play will be more experienced than us. But we've got some good players, and we will definitely be able to learn from the team."

The Diabetes Football Community is a not for profit organisation set up to provide support, guidance, tips and inspiration to those living with the condition with a passion for football. Find out more here.

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