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St Lucia programme tackles lack of opportunities for disabled people in sport
Published on May 8, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

Amputee football coaching session

David Tweed, EAFA and pro amputee footballer session

EAFA group picture, final day certification

Sitting volleyball

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Twenty-five coaches, special education teachers and community youth mentors from across Saint Lucia attended a two-day workshop to understand better how sport can offer a wide range of benefits to amputees, people with congenital limb deficiencies and persons with restricted use of limbs.

Supported by the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) and facilitated by the Sacred Sports Foundation Inc (SSF), the workshop formed part of chAMPS, an active limbs saves lives programme focusing on adaptive sports, recreation and rehabilitation for persons with disabilities in Saint Lucia and took place at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground on April 28 and 29 in partnership with the England Amputee Football Association (EAFA).

EAFA founder David Tweed, a professional amputee footballer, qualified coach and British adaptive skier delivered the workshop alongside EAFA head coach Owen Colye Jr. who administers the EAFL National League and has worked extensively with disability and women’s football.

The workshop participants, who included a number of amputees from Saint Lucia, took part in sessions ranging from understanding amputee football, to developing and delivering amputee physical activity sessions of their own. In addition, communication styles, preparation of delivery and adaptability when delivering to an impairment specific group or an individual with a disability was also covered.

Diabetes is among the leading causes of morbidity, with 40 percent of Caribbean death resulting from cardiovascular diseases related to hypertension and diabetes. Saint Lucia recorded 131 amputees in 2013 and 100 in 2014. There were 13,300 reported cases of diabetes in Saint Lucia in 2015 and by May 2015, there were already 41 limbs amputated due in large part to the obesity ravaging ailment.

To this end, a comprehensive programme of activity sessions and limb loss outreach and diabetes education days were also incorporated into the chAMPS programme of activities. Together with the Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association (SLDHA) and the National Council of and for People with Disabilities (NCPD), some 150 amputees along with their caregivers were identified in communities across Saint Lucia, who received wound care and management advice, physical therapy and diabetes education.

“Amputation of a limb affects almost all aspects of an individual's life, therefore rehabilitation after limb loss is a challenge on many levels: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial and may temporarily hinder one’s ability to think clearly and solve problems,” said Nova Alexander, executive director of SSF.

chAMPS’ overriding objective is to enhance the quality of life, improve overall health and provide opportunities to become re-engaged within their communities through a variety of adaptive activities, including physical education and inclusive community interaction.

Sacred Sports Foundation Inc. is a FIFA Football for Hope supported Organisation, a network member of streetfootballworld and a partner with Peace & Sport.
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