This summer, Rio attended The European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF) Junior Camp in Warsaw along with 14 other England Amputee Football Association (EAFA) Juniors. He joined 55 fellow amputee footballers aged 5-16 from nine other countries.
The event comprised of the Opening Ceremony, twice-daily training sessions at Legia, Warsaw’s training ground, a swimming session and a visit to the old town, before ending with the Closing Ceremony at the Legia Warsaw Stadium. Saving the best for last, Rio and the EAFF Juniors had the surprise of their life when they were led onto the pitch before the game against Korona Kielce, to join in the pre-match festivities in front of a capacity crowd of over 31,000 fans! Rio said, “The EAFF junior camp which was held this year in Poland at Legia Warsaw stadium 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.”
In addition to playing for Chelsea in the EAFA National League, Rio’s other ambition is to play for England at International tournaments including the next Amputee Football World Cup which takes place in 2026 – he is also hoping that Amputee Football will be classified as a Paralympic sport so that he can compete for Great Britain in the future. We are proud of you Rio!
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