/ 2017 / Press / Sports

Skate Soccer

  • Prize
    Gold in Press/Sports
  • Photographer
    Rohit Lakhani, China

The first time I set eyes on polio survivors enjoying a game of
skate soccer on homemade skateboards in Ghana, I was touched
by the spirit of the players to make a difference in their lives.
Albert K. Frimpong initiated the activity through his non-
governmental organization SYDOGhana (Sports and Youth
Development Organization, Ghana) to empower the disabled on
the streets. The game is played in downtown Accra at a public
car park, and the team is proudly known as the Rolling Rockets.

Due to their physical limitations and the stigma attached, access
to regular jobs is a challenge for many who have been afflicted
by polio. Even the use of basic amenities such as public showers
and toilets becomes a matter of daily struggle, as they are not
designed with the needs of the physically disabled in mind.
Despite some of the Rolling Rockets having vocational training
and others being experienced traders, most of them have
resorted to begging to support their families, some with
children. This too is hazardous, as it increases the risk of them
getting hit by cars as they meander through traffic in the hope
of getting alms from charitable hearts.

Skate soccer is a window of opportunity for equipping this
marginalized group with the requisite life skills needed for their
development into capable and responsible citizens of society,
who can then become agents of change within their community.
Their strong spirit moves me, and they play to reiterate that life
can be lived beyond perceived limitations.

Awards My photos have appeared in a few publications, both print and online.