Arsenal in the Community

In focus: Amputee football

Arsenal Amputee Football

Over the course of the 2022/23 season we will hear from a wide range of local people who have benefitted from Arsenal in the Community projects. Here we find out more about how one very special project for amputees has helped Isaac enjoy football and taken his life in a new direction.

Project: Arsenal Amputee Football

Established: 2015

Participants since starting: 30+

Weekly participants: 12

Sessions: Tuesdays 6pm-7.30pm (The Arsenal Hub)

Available to: Participants with upper limb amputations, lower limb amputations and multiple amputations

Participant Isaac says…

“I heard about the scheme through social media and I wanted to chase my dream of playing football, so I got in touch with the club and since then I’ve fit in like a glove. I approached the staff and was involved within a week – since then I have attended nearly every week, including a period when I was out injured to support my team.

“I worked with three incredible coaches and mentors who have helped me not just on the pitch but off it. It’s really helped me to overcome and beat whatever situations I’ve faced in the last few months. We’ve had some deep conversations, beyond just football! It has been really positive to share my knowledge and experience, as well as learning.

“It means a lot as a player to be with a team that understands and does so much to help me grow as an individual. I’ve not just seen myself compete in the league and score goals, I’ve had opportunities at international level. In the last year I’ve achieved so much to make myself proud and I know I can continue to grow. It’s helped my outlook on life to be more positive and thankful for things – I’ve just been offered a space on the Arsenal Coach Development Programme, so this is definitely just the start of my journey!”

Luke Howard, Arsenal Accessibility co-ordinator, says…

“We launched our Arsenal in the Community Amputee programme in 2015, building on strong foundations set up by some of the players running their own team. Bringing the team to The Arsenal Hub we began recruiting new players and exploring the ambitions of the existing players, as well as running a coaching session with Theo Walcott, Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey.

“During this time we have seen amazing achievements from players: from playing football for the first time as an amputee, to representing the club on the Arsenal Coach Development Programme abroad, to seeing the team win national tournaments and our players playing for the England national side in European Championships and World Cups.

“This group has been running for several years and it’s become one of our most well recognised programmes, with some fantastic people involved. Looking at the progress of the players and the individual achievements – we are so proud of everyone. Now our aim is to continue the growth of the group.”

For more information email Luke Howard lhoward@arsenal.co.uk

Arsenal Amputee Football

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