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Miramar mayor to assist Jamaica's amputee footballers

Published:Thursday | June 20, 2019 | 12:00 AMDanae Hyman/Online Reporter
Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam in conversation with Leo Gilling at the 8th biennial Jamaican Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston yesterday.

Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam has announced plans to assist members of the Jamaica Amputees' Football Association (JAFA) realise their dream of joining the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), which members of the team are hoping will thrust their talent into the spotlight.

Speaking at the 8th biennial Jamaican Diaspora Conference in Kingston yesterday, Messam said he has found amputee footballers "truly inspirational" and that he will be partnering with JAFA to provide support to the team.

“When u see the videos of those amputees playing the sport it is just so inspirational and it’s such a joy to see that they have not lost their love for the sport and still can play disabilities so I would love to be able to get Jamaica to join that league,” Messam shared.

He added: “Just because you may have lost a limb or may not have full ability as everyone else, you still have a purpose in life, you still can play the sport with love and can bring together people all over the world who have similar situations.”

He said the Ministry of Sport is on board to get the Jamaican amputee players to participate in the National Amputees League, with the possibility of advancing to the amputees' World Cup.

Following in the steps of the Haitian Amputee National Team, which came into existence after the devastating 2010 earthquake that left many citizens with disabilities, members of JAFA say a similar football team will show that Jamaican amputees are more than their disability.

“My philosophy is that my disability does not limit my abilities. This team if given the right exposure will show others who feel they are not ‘normal’ or as able bodied that they can still be active and have fun,” Annetta Garwood, the sole female member of JAFA, said.

In light of a shortage of female amputee footballers, the JAFA is appealing for more women to join the team so that they could compete in the women's league. 

“When we approach women, they are either too old or they say they are not interested in football or they feel that they won’t be able to play but women should come out a join because it’s a way to motivate others while having fun,” implored Davin Marriot, a player.

He said trainings are kept every Saturday or Sunday at Whitemarl in Central Village, St Catherine where anyone interested in becoming a part of the team should come out.