By: Emily Eitzman / USAFF Technical Director / emilyeitzman.com
July 23, 2023
Creating opportunities for individuals to play adaptive sports is not simply “nice.” Creating opportunities for individuals to play adaptive sports is necessary.
Sports have many benefits. Beyond providing individuals a variety of ways to exercise and physically take care of their bodies, sports provide people with a sense of community and a sense of empowerment and strength. Furthermore, sports can serve as an outlet by which players can momentarily forget about more difficult aspects of their lives. Participation in sports, in essence, can be instrumental in holistic health.
Individuals with disabilities need opportunities to reap all of these benefits that sports provide athletes.
Amputee soccer is one of the many adaptive sports offered, however, it is currently a very male-dominated sport. USAFF aims to change this by raising awareness for the sport with a special focus on getting more amputee women involved in the game. Just as disabled individuals should have the same opportunities as able-bodied individuals, female athletes should have the same access to sports as male athletes. Amie Donathan, USAFF board member and amputee soccer player herself, was one of only two women who played and competed amongst the men during the Amputee Football World Cup in Türkiye. She endorses the importance of the sport to her and the importance of giving other women the opportunity to play. USAFF wants more women to have the opportunity to play amputee soccer in a World Cup, play amputee soccer for a university, or play amputee soccer in their backyard.
USAFF is a hard-working, selfless, nonprofit organization accomplishing what is not just “nice” but what is very much necessary: the development of amputee soccer across the world on all levels, for all individuals, and ensuring women have their space in this development.