In Ghana, polio survivors have defined themselves beyond their illness with the sport of skate soccer.
For those who have been diagnosed with polio, an often grim future relegated to begging for money on the streets soon becomes their reality.
Yet, the Rolling Rockets, a team of polio survivors who play soccer with their hands in Ghana’s capital of Accra, is providing a new horizon of possibilities for its players.
Started in Nigeria, skate soccer has now spread throughout West Africa.
While playing, teammates “skate” around on skateboards in a designated area looking to score goals on the opposition’s side.
Forty-nine-year-old skate soccer player Rasta says of the sport, “Skate soccer is for those of us who can’t use our legs, so we play with our hands….
“I get excited when I play skate soccer. Sometimes the spectators bring us food or drinks. I feel proud when I play. If we don’t play, people ask us why, and that makes me feel needed.”
But their coach, Albert Frimpong, has an even bigger dream that would expand the sport beyond Sunday mornings and its enthusiastic onlookers.
“My hope for them is to see them quit begging and promote the sport so much that the world can accept the sport and it can become an international event.
“And eventually, I will see them off the streets completely. No more begging…. We are looking at the Paralympics. One day, accepting the skate soccer project.”
Watch the Rolling Rockets here:
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