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History of the Game

Don Bennett, a native of Seattle, was always active - skiing, boating, mountain climbing. When he lost his leg to a propeller in a boating accident, his activities changed, but not his passion for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Don became the first amputee to climb Washington's Mt. Rainier, the second highest peak in North America, on crutches. 

Amputee soccer was created by accident. 

The history of amputee soccer is deeply intertwined with the pioneering efforts of Don Bennett, a visionary who transformed a personal challenge into a global sporting movement. In the early 1980s, Bennett, an amputee himself, recognized the lack of competitive sports opportunities for individuals with limb differences. Driven by his passion for soccer and a desire to create an inclusive environment for amputees, Bennett began to lay the groundwork for what would become a revolutionary sport. His vision was simple yet profound: to offer amputees the same opportunities for athletic achievement and camaraderie that able-bodied athletes enjoyed.

In 1980, Bennett founded the American Amputee Soccer Association (AASA), marking the official start of organized amputee soccer in the United States. His leadership and dedication were instrumental in forming the first national amputee soccer team in the late 1980s, providing a platform for amputee athletes to compete at a high level. Bennett's efforts extended beyond the field as he tirelessly advocated for the sport, organizing national tournaments, and training camps, and raising awareness about the abilities and potential of amputee athletes. Under his guidance, the AASA grew, fostering a supportive community and inspiring countless amputees to engage in soccer.

Bringing nations together with soccer.

Bennett's influence reached beyond American borders as he played a crucial role in the global expansion of amputee soccer. He was a key figure in the establishment of the World Amputee Football Federation (WAFF) in 1985, which provided a formal structure for international competitions. His advocacy and organizational skills helped bring together amputee soccer players from around the world, culminating in the first Amputee World Cup in 1984. This event was a landmark moment, showcasing the sport's potential and uniting athletes from diverse backgrounds. Don Bennett's legacy is reflected in the vibrant and growing community of amputee soccer players worldwide, a testament to his vision, resilience, and unwavering commitment to inclusivity and empowerment in sports.

Amputee Soccer World Cup 2022 - Istanbul, Turkey

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