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Amputee Soccer: The Opportunity To Excel

Deportivo San Miguel

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By Karla Ortiz

This year, the Amputee Soccer World Cup will be held in México, and the 12 teams that make up the Mexican Amputee Soccer League (LMFA) are already in preselection to form the Mexican national team, who will then compete against teams from about 32 countries. So far, Deportivo San Miguel, which represents the state of Guanajuato, has three people shortlisted to be on the national team.

As recently as May 6, Deportivo San Miguel played against the Coyotes de Querétaro team in Round 5 of the LMFA on the Unidad Deportiva pitch, where the players showed their determination and strength for the sport.

The idea to bring amputee soccer to San Miguel was born five years ago in the mind of José Ángel González Cano, current representative for the State of Guanajuato. Cano went to university in Monterrey, where he first encountered an amputee soccer team, Los Tigres, who receive financial support from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and the government. Cano was inspired to bring amputee soccer to Guanajuato and base it in León, a large city with many opportunities. But unfortunately the support there was not like he had seen in Monterrey, so he decided to move the team to San Miguel, where the government has helped him get things like uniforms, transport, and medical insurance. The team currently has two players who were part of the team of the last America’s Cup for Amputees.

However, some of the help once provided by the government has dried up. Cano says that the team was previously loaned the Capi Correa Stadium, but of late they been told to use the Unidad Deportiva pitch, which is not in proper condition for the players. In addition, the team does not have enough money to transport all 15 players at one time, since they come from different parts of Guanajuato, including Salvatierra, Irapuato, Celaya, León, Querétaro, and Colima. (To play, the team needs six players and a goalkeeper on the pitch.)

Soon, they will play against Colima’s team. If they win, they will move to the liguilla (mini-league) as the third best team.

Despite the challenges Deportivo San Miguel faces, Cano brought amputee soccer to Guanajuato because he noticed in Monterrey a different lifestyle, in which the players showed enthusiasm to get ahead in life. He realized that the people who suffer the most are not those born with a disability, but those who, being completely healthy, lose a limb in an accident. Those are the people who fall into depression, alcoholism, or drugs, he said. Cano wants to change that pattern in Guanajuato and prove true what he says in his own personal mottos: “With what I have I can do” and “My disability does not limit me; don’t limit yourself.”

 

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