Spartans embrace amputee football with training sessions

Spartans have teamed up with the Amputee Football Association.
Spartans have teamed up with the Amputee Football Association.
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Spartans FC will become the latest club in Scotland to embrace amputee football when the club hosts an open training session as part of the Leg Off Game On Roadshow.

The club has teamed up with Amputee Football Association Scotland (AFAS), the Scottish charity set up to grow the sport set up in 2016, to host a training session for keen new players with an amputation or congenital limb difference.

The game is increasing in popularity in Scotland and was thrust to the public’s attention when one-legged player Tommy McKay, 32, scored a wonder goal during a half-time challenge at Tannadice, the home of Dundee United.

His superstrike put the plight of the charity into the limelight and Spartans FC were eager to help raise awareness of the sport and meet its bid to develop a Scottish amputee football league by holding the #LegOffGameOn Roadshow at the Spartans Community Football Academy on Sunday, August 19.

Para-football officer at Spartans FC Garry Betts, commented: “We’re excited to be working with Amputee Football Association Scotland in helping raise awareness of the sport and to bring it to Edinburgh.”

Spartans Connections, the para football section of the Spartans Football Club, provide skill and fitness-focused football training sessions for players who have a wide range of disabilities including physical and learning difficulties and mental health challenges.

Mr Betts added: “We have terrific facilities here at Spartans Community Football Academy and an active para-football programme, which lend themselves perfectly to the game and we would encourage anyone with an amputation or limb difference to come along on Sunday and give it a try.”

Edinburgh-based Northern
Ireland manager Michael O’Neill MBE has backed the initiative.

He recently visited Partick Thistle Amputees as guest coach and has supported the growth of the sport in Scotland.

Founder and CEO of Amputee Football Association Scotland, Ashley Reid, said: “Amputee football is a new discipline in Scotland so to see our player numbers grow so rapidly in such a short time is testament to the demand that exists for the sport.

“Spartans has an enviable community and disability football programme and the club was quick to contact us about hosting a taster session.

“Our aim is to provide the opportunity for anyone with an amputation or limb difference to play football on a level playing field in a fun and safe environment and we hope that by establishing the sport here in Edinburgh will help us in our bid to create a league.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk