The emotional story of Disport FC, league champions with cerebral palsy

  • The coach and players of the Pallejà team value the importance of football as “therapy” for social inclusion for people with disabilities. “Here we can dream,” confesses the goalkeeper.

“The happiness continues in the body,” acknowledges Inaki Requena. “A few days ago I went to work and on the radio they talked about Barça women’s success: that they have been full of triumphs, that they have won the Pichichi, the Zamora, etc. And for a moment I said to myself ‘they are talking about Sport, of us’. Then you land in reality and think ‘gosh, what they’ve done is very, very worthwhile, and finally they’re being talked about, but let’s see when it’s our turn’. No one is going to talk about us,” he sighs.

Is he manager of Disport FCa football team for people with cerebral palsy from Pallejà (Baix Llobregat) who just a month ago won the National Football League-7. To his players, Iñaki repeats almost every moment ‘Bidea da gailurra’. In Basque it means ‘the summit It is the way’.

“Enjoy the road”

“The important thing is not to get to the top, it’s enjoy the road. Every moment is a small victory for kids who They haven’t had it easy to play football, and that they have finally achieved it. Now that they have this opportunity, they grab it, enjoy it to the fullest, with brutal intensity and tremendous passion, “says Iñaki. Her two children, Aketza and Eder, they raised the trophy with him. Aketza was the top scorer: “I have scored 15 goals and 10 assists”.

“But that, like the title, is the least of it,” he clarifies. The football victory is not the most important. Their smile fades back. He was born at 28 weeks. With 935 grams. He started playing soccer when he was little. “In standardized equipment. My disability is almost imperceptible, but although it is not noticeable, it made me run less and shoot more loosely. The experience was not good. The coaches weren’t counting on me. Many times I was thrown the blame for the losses. I did not enjoy. They push you away, you trust yourself less, your self-esteem falls, you feel invisible. And I ended up leaving football. I stopped doing sports,” he adds.

forgotten at school

A David Trepat, goalkeeper for Disport and Zamora from the league, did not pass the ball to him at school. “Playing soccer in the courtyard was impossible. It was a chimera,” David recalls. he suffers diplegia: a motor involvement in both legs. “I’m more affected than others,” she explains. “I have bad legs. I never considered playing in a normalized team. As a child you see what there is, you know what you can do and what not,” she admits.

Sport, according to what Disport points out, is very beneficial for people with cerebral palsy on a physical level, to improve their quality of life. “She is a rehabilitation tool Super nice. Physically and, above all, socially. Soccer is a therapy”, emphasizes Aketza.

“Here we enjoy, far from rejection. We have not had it easy in life”

Aketza / Pichichi of Disport FC

“Here we are all equal, important, a family in which we all help and protect each other”, he highlights, underlining the need to protect oneself from the outside. And he insists: “Here we enjoy, far from rejection. We haven’t had it easy in life.” His father picks up the baton: “They are accustomed to always being cared for, to always be aware of them. Here they have the opportunity to take care of others, kids like them. This is important: they feel that they are not always the ones who have to be assisted, that they can also contribute a lot. be helpful.”

“I feel fulfilled”

David, the goalkeeper, argues that “victory is very good, and we will always have the medal, but in 20 years what I will remember is that I was lucky to have a space to play football”. “We are lucky”, reiterates David, considered a class 3 player, the lowest: “There are rules to equate disabilities : every team must have a player like me. This makes you feel equal to others”. “Here I feel fulfilled. You see you have a team and seven guys who will go out and break their faces for you,” says David. Before I had never felt it. “Here we can Sound“, Add.

“Many times you think ‘holy hell, it’s my turn to be the father of a disabled child’, but here you see that you are not the only one. And you understand that in this society we all have some disability, even if it is not physical”

Iñaki Requena / Coach of Disport FC

For them, grass represents happiness. The street, the sadness. The condescension sticks like a dagger. “It hurts. It hurts,” Aketza notes crudely. David speaks: “I’ve gotten used to it, at 28 years old, the children look at me on the street. It is normal. But adults also look at me. There is still a long way to go at the level of inclusion“. “Inclusion should not be preached, it should be practiced,” claims David, bored with the ‘oh, poor thing’.

dodging obstacles

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Before saying goodbye, Iñaki, the technician, takes the floor again: “They love what they do”. They don’t want to broadcast pity no pity They don’t want to be more than anyone, but they don’t want to be less either: just like everyone else”, emphasizes Iñaki. “They have spent their whole lives dodging obstacles. They are experts at this. And in football they forget what society repeats to them: that they have to be apart, “he says.

Sighs. Take a breath. And he continues: “When you overcome the stage of acceptance and assume the situation of your children You see them suffer. They are invisible more times than necessary, and finding a place to be happy is a tremendous satisfaction.” “Many times you think ‘Holy shit, it happened to me to be the father of a disabled child’, but here you see that you are not the only one. And you understand that in this society we all have some kind of disability, even if it’s not physical,” concludes Iñaki.

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