The love of sport seems to have no limit. People in all corners of the world celebrate and share a compelling enthusiasm for sport, despite any barriers that may seem to get in the way. Along with the help of medicine, science and technology, sport is no longer just something that able-bodied people can thrive in. Events such as the Paralympics have brought to light the wealth of opportunity on offer for people in adapted sports and has put the rich talent that these sports own at the forefront of this.
There is something certainly quite uplifting and warming about seeing that despite barriers – be it physical, emotional, economical or geographical, sport has the power to offer ever-growing opportunity. These days, football is not just a grass pitch with two goals but also a ball containing a bell, using crutches as a balance aid & adapted rules for those with learning difficulties.
Success of The Paralympic Games
Just recently, England took to the pitch at the CP (Cerebral Palsy) World Games and left the competition in 4th place after a defeat to Russia.
The successes don’t stop there for England’s adapted football teams. Smashing through to the final, England Deaf Futsal team beat Denmark & Slovakia to be crowned champions of their group.
If ever there was a role model, He Yiyi of China paints the perfect portrait. As an amputee, Yiyi has stunned thousands with his epic performance on the pitch, using crutches to manoeuvre around. Since his surgery 9 years ago, the young lad has worn out 27 pairs of crutches for the love of football. Yiyi embodies the thrive and passion for the sport with his unstoppable nature.
Every 4 years the Paralympics hosts the game for visually impaired footballers, these players use a smaller sized football that is heavier and contains a ball. Players are assigned to 1 of 3 categories based on their visual impairment. B1 is for those who are totally or almost blind, B2 contains players who are partially sighted and can recognised shapes. Lastly, B3 is the category for those with most vision. This year, England B1 team will be competing in The ISBA Blind Football World Champions, having previously come 3rd in the European competition.
The success of these athletes is clearly very evident, and certainly gives the England Football Team a run for their money. These athletes solely embody how if you love something enough, you’ll find a way to do it!