Haitian amputee soccer team show their skills in Denver
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Team Zaryen, a group of amputee soccer players who lost limbs in the devastating Haiti earthquake last year, demonstrated their impressive skills at the Knights of Columbus' convention in Denver, Colorado on August 1.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who visited Haiti in the earthquake’s aftermath, praised the players for their determination on Aug. 1 and noted the “greatness of the people of Haiti” and their “faithfulness and generosity of spirit.”

Port-au-Prince's Team Zaryen is made up of players who received prosthetic devices through a partnership between the Knights of Columbus and Project Medishare.

At a press conference on Aug. 1 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Denver, the players moved around on crutches kicking a soccer ball with a strength and swiftness that surpasses most average players. 

Coach Cedieu Fortilis told CNA that the team formed in September of 2010 and since then, has attracted about 40 members.

He said the community in Haiti, as well as everyone they encounter in their travels, are fascinated watching them play since “no one expects amputees to be able to do this.”

“There are no words,” he added, “to describe the blessing that the Knights of Columbus have been for us.”

Fortilis noted that the players chose the word “Zaryen” as their team name since it is the Creole word for Tarantula – a spider known to keep thriving even after the loss of a leg.

The team also announced that they will tour the U.S. this fall to run soccer clinics for wounded members of the U.S. Military.

“Following the earthquake there was a tremendous outpouring of support from the people of the United States, much of it coordinated by America's armed forces,” said Dr. Robert Gailey, director of rehabilitation services for Project Medishare.

“Team Zaryen is now looking to return the favor by running clinics for wounded American services members this fall in the United States,” Gailey said, “and we are honored to be working together with the Knights of Columbus to assist these young people in Haiti and to be providing these clinics for the U.S. Military.”

Gailey noted that a primary reason the soccer team was formed was to help remove the social stigma associated with being an amputee in Haitian society. The players also hope that their example will inspire local youth to overcome obstacles and view their lives as filled with limitless opportunities. 

The tour will be co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Project Medishare's “Healing Haiti's Children” program. The knights have donated more than $1 million to the program since its inception.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30