Footballers’ tales – Football is for everyone

We are footballers too. When not helping football lovers to find matches or players, we have our very own team (endearingly named PlayPal United) indulging in the weekly kickabouts too.

Not surprisingly, when looking for new blood, we walked the talk and used our very own PlayPal Football app.

A few weeks ago, we had an interesting inclusion in our squad for a game. 26 years old Benedict found us through the PlayPal Football app and joined our game.

Footballers - Ben

Benedict looking to feint with the ball

Benedict is an extraordinary character. He is hearing-speech impaired. Though he was born with hearing loss, through speech lessons he has been able to communicate with people around him. His aspiration as a kid was to join the ranks of professional footballers, like many of you reading this now.

It is heartening to see Benedict’s passion and enthusiasm for the game, despite the obstacles he may face on the pitch. “Being myself is the best and I am proud of it”, replied Benedict when asked if he ever felt that his hearing-speech impairment was a hindrance while playing football.

So with whom and where does he play? His answer? “I play with strangers; I also play for some Sunday social teams. I usually also train at Turf City on weekly nights”. Definitely a lot of football played in a week and no hiding his love for the game.

By playing football regularly with diverse groups, Benedict hopes to promote awareness amongst the local football community on players with disabilities – that players like himself are not any much different and that they can hold their own on the pitch too. “Most people pay little attention to deaf awareness here. I sincerely hope that there will be more opportunities for young deaf footballers to play with anyone. We are not disabled, but rather we are like any other person”, said Benedict. The PlayPal Football app certainly has a role to play in this, by allowing all football enthusiasts to find games in Singapore.

Footballers - Ben's team pic

Benedict. Wide grin, thumbs up and enjoying his football.

Benedict’s wish for disabled footballers? That someday young deaf footballers will be able to play professionally.

Currently, football is an active sport played and enjoyed by many in the deaf and speech impaired community. The community has a team Deaf Lions, endorsed by the Deaf Sports Association Singapore, who play Sunday League and weekend games at various locations within this football-crazy city. Check them out below playing in an overseas tournament. Inspiring, and certainly motivating us to get out of our couches to join in the actions!

We share Benedict’s hope that Singapore football clubs will one day give youth players with hearing or speech disabilities a shot at proving themselves at the professional level. Promoting equality through “The Beautiful Game”? Yes, PlayPal Football app has that checked (✔), and here’s a shoutout to everyone, to use our app to play together and encourage inclusiveness within the football community in Singapore.

 

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