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Football to promote the rehabilitation and inclusion of amputees


The European Football Championships, Euro 2016 (10 June-10 July), will be closely followed by fans of European football across the world. Handicap International’s teams plan to use the event to highlight how playing football or another sport can help restore some of the mobility and self-esteem of lower-limb amputees. Isabelle Urseau, a rehabilitation specialist at Handicap International, tells us more.

Blaurah, 17 months, tries playing football with her first prosthesis with the help of her mother, at an orthopaedic centre in Haiti. | William Daniels / Handicap International

“In many of the health care centres supported by Handicap International, ball games, particularly football, play a central role in the rehabilitation of patients with a lower-limb amputation.”

“In terms of physiotherapy, ball exercises help patients with prostheses gain confidence in their orthopaedic device and their new form of mobility. We start with a step, then a pass, some dribbling and maybe even a match on crutches...”

“Lastly, it has an even bigger impact on their morale: the exercises are more entertaining and easy to follow because it’s a game. The youngest patients realise they can still have fun with their friends.”

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