By: Emily Eitzman / USAFF Technical Director / emilyeitzman.com
July 3, 2023
The United States Amputee Football Federation (USAFF) held its second camp for amputee women this June. With more athletes getting involved with the organization, it is clear that USAFF is making rapid progress towards increasing accessibility to amputee soccer and raising awareness for the beautiful game.
USAFF’s second camp, held in Frisco, Texas, saw a number of returning players as well as new faces, underscoring the success of the organization’s first camp. Madeleine, who attended the first camp, shared that the camp was her first-time playing amputee sports. She could not wait for USAFF’s next event and quickly signed up for the next camp. Madeleine’s mother affirmed her daughter’s excitement as she told USAFF members it was at the camp that Madeleine had found “her people.”
In addition, USAFF was fortunate to have Lonestar Adaptive Soccer, another adaptive soccer group in Texas, join in on the fun. “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be involved with USAFF since it was founded… I’m eager to see how the organization will grow and continue to inspire new players to try this amazing sport,” said Ezra Maes, an athlete on the Lonestar Adaptive Soccer team. Anthony Maldonado, another athlete for Lonestar Adaptive Soccer, shared that the USAFF community is providing him “the confidence and clarity that [he] can truly accomplish anything [he] puts his mind to.” Founder and president of Lonestar Adaptive Soccer, Robert Ferguson, echoed these words. He applauded USAFF as a worthy organization that is “truly about building the sport” and expressed his commitment and excitement regarding working with USAFF in the future.
Also noteworthy, USAFF brought FC Dallas coaches onto the pitch. The coaches had the opportunity to watch the amputee athletes play their game in addition to playing amputee soccer themselves. This was a wonderful opportunity for USAFF to further educate the community about women’s amputee soccer. FC Dallas head coach Nico Estévez, when speaking on his experience with the USAFF athletes, beautifully stated that he appreciated “their willingness to run, their willingness to fight, their willingness to sacrifice for each other.”
Overall, the camp was a huge success for the athletes, coaches, and community members. USAFF looks forward to continuing to expand its reach and empower more adaptive athletes through opportunities in the sport.
“USAFF is a great organization that allows women and children the opportunity to play amputee soccer. USAFF is great because they strive to give everyone the opportunity to play.” – Kavi Pandaya