A Bushey footballer was selected to attend the European Amputee Football Federation Junior Camp this summer.
Rio Woolf, 15, was born with a rare condition which meant he was missing his tibia, knee and ankle joint. This resulted in Rio having his lower leg amputated when he was just 14 months old.
Rio headed to Warsaw for the four-day event along with 14 other juniors from the England Amputee Football Association (EAFA).
This was Rio’s fifth opportunity to play at the camp, having previously attended in 2017. The talented young player has been a member of the EAFA Juniors since the age of seven after training with the Arsenal Amputees, and now regularly trains with Chelsea.
The camp included twice-daily training sessions at Legia Warsaw’s training ground, a swim session, and a visit to the Old Town, before ending with the closing ceremony at the Legia Warsaw Stadium.
Rio then had the surprise of his life when he and the other juniors were led onto the pitch before the game against Korona Kielce on August 20. They joined in the pre-match festivities in front of a capacity crowd of more than 31,000 fans.
Rio said: “The junior camp was the highlight of my summer. It was great to play with amputees from 10 countries travelling from as far as Costa Rica. We may not have spoken the same language, but we communicated through our love of amputee football.
“I hope this time next year to have played a handful of games for Chelsea in the league this upcoming season.”
EAFA is a registered charity and relies on donations – to help Rio and his EAFA teammates to fulfil their dreams, please donate: Donate | The England Amputee Football Association (theeafa.org)
Photo Credit: Paula Duda