Soccer clinic gives amputees chance to play game again in Portland

Published: Aug. 19, 2023 at 11:03 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A free amputee and limb different soccer clinic was held in Portland on Saturday. The clinic was hosted at the Plex PDX along the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Yamhill’s Thuy Williams has worked with amputee soccer players around the world and organized this first-time event for Portland.

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FOX 12 swung by in the afternoon as the McDaniel High School boys soccer team was giving the game on crutches a shot. Head coach Ugo Uche said the boys gained an appreciation for what they have through the experience.

“They are so grateful for, and to be able to see the other side of the game and what life might be like in somebody else’s shoes,” Uche said.

Williams says, “The stories of some of the veterans who have lost limbs in service with tears in their eyes and they’re talking about how when they lost their limb. They thought they lost soccer forever and then they found amputee soccer and how it saved their lives. I was just like, we need this in Portland.”

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Austin Justin, an 11-year-old from Vancouver, had a blast and so did Dee Malchow from Seattle who began playing the sport back in 1983. Austin said the game was a fun challenge.

“Because you are doing it in crutches where you are not just free so running up and down this huge field,” Justin said. “It’s a lot, but it’s really fun and that’s the most important thing. To have fun.”

Malchow says, “To get your foot on that ball again? And whap it into the goal? On crutches? I think you almost feel better than on two legs because you are trying harder.”

Portland Thorns Taylor Porter and Isabel Dehakiz were also on hand to try the game on crutches.