National Haitian Amputee Soccer Team Plays at the Capitol
November 16th, 2010, the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD) teamed up with the Haitian National Amputee Soccer Team at the State Capitol for a press conference and soccer match. After competing at the 2010 World Cup of Amputee Soccer in Argentina, the Haitian team began a tour of North America to raise awareness of the capabilities of people with disabilities and generate support for a long-term therapeutic recreation program in Haiti. “The State Capitol has never seen anything like this,” said CTD's executive director Dennis Borel.
With the help of the International Institute of SPORT (IIS) the team spent three weeks in the US, working with the Wounded Warrior and VA rehab/therapeutic recreation programs. IIS is a sports organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
“Many of our players were devastated by the huge earthquake that hit Haiti," said IIS Founder and President Dr. Fred Sorrells. "Some lost family members, homes and even their limbs. Soccer and therapeutic recreation has opened a path to a better life. For many, this team has become a new family.” Team members have received an outpouring of aide, including dental care, prosthetics and reconstructive surgery in America. For more information and to find out how you can support the Haitian Amputee Soccer team go to www.iisport.org.
The match in Austin was a grand success. The Austin American Statesman, News 8 Austin, and My Fox Austin were just a few media outlets that attended the event, providing much needed publicity to the Haitian Team. “Spectators at the match left with the indelible impression that people with disabilities may indeed be included in all aspects of the community, even soccer matches,” said Borel.