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Worcester Student Selected for Wales Futsal Squad in Home Nations Tournament

A University of Worcester student has been called up to the Wales Futsal squad for a home nations tournament this weekend.

Chris Bright, 28, who is studying for a Masters in Research on the Socio-Cultural Studies of Sport and Exercise pathway, will be making the trip to Newry, Northern Ireland, for the Futsal Home Nations Championship. This will be his first time competing with the squad after a two-year absence due to injury.

“I’m delighted to have been selected in the Wales Futsal squad for the upcoming home nations tournament,” said Chris, of Redditch. “It’s always an honour to be selected by your country and its even more special knowing the journey I’ve been on with injury in the last year or two.”

Futsal is a version of five-a-side football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. Chris has represented Wales in futsal before at full international level and was part of the team that won the tournament in late 2016, however he suffered a broken bone in his foot during these matches, which led to a year on the sidelines. Since joining the University last year, he has been building up his fitness and this is his first time back in the Wales squad in competition. The tournament, which runs Friday (November 30) until Sunday (December 2), sees Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland compete against each other. Wales take on England on Friday, at 4pm, then Northern Ireland on Saturday, at 6pm, and Scotland, on Sunday, at 12pm.

Chris has received a sports scholarship from the University, a support package provided to its high performance athletes. He said: “I played in the inaugural home nations in 2016 and actually suffered my broken metatarsal in the tournament so this is like re writing the history for me. I want to say a huge thank you to the University who have supported the comeback from injury with sports therapy support, strength and conditioning coaching and the opportunity to play within the University’s Futsal performance programme. It’s played a huge role in getting back into the squad.”

Chris plays for the University of Worcester’s Futsal Club, which competes in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league. Earlier this year, he was one of two students at Worcester selected for the England Universities squad, which is made up of the 20 best players currently studying in higher education in the country.

In addition, Chris, who is Type 1 diabetic, has founded The Diabetes Football Community, a peer support network to help people living with diabetes to play football whilst managing the condition, offering guidance and advice.

Picture credit: John Smith / Same Old Smith Photography