Football really changed my life, says Para Games athlete

Football really changed my life, says Para Games athlete
PHOTO: Our Better World

Like any other passionate sports team, these lads have been sweating it out to make the nation proud.

Long hours on the field, practice in the pool and even a training tour in Japan has readied Singapore's Cerebral Palsy football team for ASEAN's Para Games 2015. They earned themselves a silver at last year's games, and this time they're aiming for the gold.

For players like Shafiq, football has not only been a way to gain more exposure but to also step up and step out to be more sociable. If it wasn't for the football, he would "just go home and do my stuff".

From the spirit and brotherhood among the boys though, the focus is all on what they can do, rather than what they can't.

Perhaps because to Coach Zainudeen, their perseverance and abilitiy is the primary focus. He sees no difference between coaching a cerebral palsy football team and a normal football team.

"You all are footballers to me and they are also footballers to me," he says with the conviction.

In a game where teamwork, effort and determination bring you to your goal, it's only natural for all the boys to become a team on and off the field.

Drenched in the sweat of hard work, they banter, laugh and talk about favourite soccer teams.

Much like any sports team, what spurs the players is home ground support, especially when these footballers have been gearing towards it, with every match.

These winners of the Korean Annual National CP Football Tournament, are looking to us to cheer them on when they step onto the regional pitch against other countries.

As Peter, the team's Defender wished, "come and support as a home crowd."

So what are we waiting for? Admission is free, the schedule is out and it's home ground - let's defend our Defender's dream!


 

Shafiq, Peter and their teammates are raring to go for the Asean Para Games.

After many months of tough training, they're ready to face the best cerebral palsy football teams in the region.

You can catch them in action at the Singapore National Stadium from 3-9 December.

Entry is free, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Take a closer look at the CP football team at http://www.ourbetterworld.org/story/football-really-changed-my-life

A story by Our Better World- telling stories to inspire good, an initiative of the Singapore International Foundation.

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