I was lucky enough yesterday to attend a session at Park Community School in Havant with the Pompey Amputees FC. The team which was only formed a mere three months ago, thanks to the passionate support from Irwin Mitchell, now gives even more amputees in the south an opportunity to take part in a sport with which they love and which they possibly felt they would not have had an opportunity to play.
Before Pompey Amps were created the nearest team were Oxford, a long journey in anyone’s book, but now the guys have a team that they can class at being at home with. Pompey in the Community prides itself on its commitment to try and service the needs of the community. When the possibility of creating a Amputee football team arose, it was an opportunity too good to turn away from.
The guys are now ‘pompified’ and are really looking the part, but in fairness it is all very well looking the part, but there is a classic saying that we can all associate with ‘All the gear, but no idea!’ Luckily these guys ‘do have an idea’ and they certainly demonstrated that last night! The technical ability of the players was incredible. Great agility, awesome awareness, excellent touch and most importantly a brilliant team spirit.
Last night showed a number of things, especially surrounding what the power of football can do for an individual or team even. A lovely story that emulated from last night was that of Che. An amputee who at only the age of 15 demonstrates the commitment and dedication to the sport like a seasoned pro. Obviously the opportunity to pull on a Pompey shirt and represent your club is something that any die hard Pompey fan would love to do! So imagine when Che, A Southampton fan has to do it! After talking to Che and listening to his story. It is not something that he finds easy to do, (I think I would struggle if the roles were reversed!) but he is willing to put his allegiances aside so that he can play the sport he loves. Something that I have huge admiration for. The story is finished perfectly, with the fact that, Che, by far the youngest member of the squad actually scored Pompey Amps FC’s very first goal against Arsenal last month!
It’s stories like this and witnessing first hand at what football can do for people, that makes these things all worth while. I sincerely hope that all the guys, Che especially, finds playing for Portsmouth Amps as enjoyable as possible.
Southampton’s loss is certainly our gain!
Play Up Amps!