Sampson Dzivor (Ghana) – Creating CP Football Opportunities in Ghana
In this blog, Sampson shares the impact football has had on his life and discusses his work as an Ambassador for CP Football in Ghana.
I quite remember back in my childhood where children used to wrap up different polythene bags to form a football to play on backyards. Especially, for most male children in my community, football was the favorite sport of all other. We all make ourselves dirty in sweat and sand to have the full joy of the sport.
However, as a person with cerebral palsy, my situation was much different from other male children. My level of spasms did not allow me with flexible muscles to carry myself along very well. I mostly fall and get hurt when even walking. You can imagine how running will look like. Initially, I used to get involved in playing football with my peers. I later realized that it was rather like me exposing myself to friends to be ridiculed and laughed. So I stop getting involved for some years. Within those years, I had loved imaging myself on the pitch playing football anytime my friends were playing from a distance. I was typically a virtual player then. Well, that seemed to make me feel better than getting worried that I can’t play.
With continued family support, medication, and exercises, I improved with my muscle tone. I can now walk without falling often and even run for some distance. You can guess, I’m ready to enjoy one of my favorite sports, right? Well, somehow yes because there were still many challenges.
Today, the story is different. As a CP Football Ambassador for Ghana, I have had the opportunity to play with other persons with CP. Sharing the similar challenges in football have boosted my confidence level, having no excuses or blames of myself. Societal awareness on CP is still low in the country. This has accounted in some challenges such as inadequate support from companies, parents’ withdrawal of their wards to partake in the CP football, and many others. Some groups once exploited some persons with disabilities in the past. Due to this, many no more have the trust to participate in a related activity of such. For me, I don’t see CP football as just for fun but also as a therapy as well. The more I play football, the more I exercise to improve my flexibility.
Despite the challenges faced, the management of CP Football is aimed at bridging the gap between discrimination and employment opportunities for young people living with Cerebral Palsy in Ghana.
(Ambassador, CP Football Ghana)