Written and posted by Dr. Jerome Stewart at Dr. Jerome Stewart’s Blog on November 27, 2017.
The Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team team came to Waxahachie, TX, on Nov. 15, 2017. The team visited Waxahchie Independent School District (WISD) classrooms during the day, and that evening played an exhibition game with the Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) mens soccer team at Lumpkins Stadium, WISD, on its United States goodwill tour.
“The hope and inspiration they provide is pretty incredible,” remarked Mr. Greg Reed, WISD athletic director.
Dr. Fred Sorrells, event coordinator for the team’s goodwill tour and President of Operation Go Quickly and the International Institute of Sports, noted that the 2010 earthquake in Haiti dramatically changed the lives of many Haitian men and boys. “We saw those folks, who before the earthquake had been totally able bodied, many enjoying soccer, and now all of a sudden had lost a limb. It was a huge psychological challenge that they faced, and we discovered amputee soccer.”
It is amputee soccer that provides physical, emotional, and spiritual support to these athletes. Instead of being outcasts due to their disabilities, Mr. Reed stated they return to Haiti “as heroes.”
The Haiti players, other than the goalie, have a physical attribute in common: part or all of one leg is gone. Goalies in amputee soccer have both legs intact, but are missing part or all of one arm.
And what is the main message that the Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team left for WISD? Mr. Reed summed it up, “I would say hope.”