At a time when most teenagers find reasons not to play a sport, Fatou Sanneh made it a point to not let go of her passion for football, despite losing her leg in a car accident.
Despite being an amputee, Fatou, 20, has managed to be a part of The Gambia National Amputee Women’s football team as a striker. She lost her left leg when she was 19 years old in a car accident. Recalling the incident, she says, the pain was unbearable, and she still feels it. “Sometimes it hurts when I train hard. At the moment I am not even training because I have a minor leg injury, so I have to stop training and receive treatment”.
After undergoing multiple treatments, Fatou learnt how to pass and dribble with the football. Later, she realized that she could pick up speed while walking with crutches and that she could even kick the ball with the same speed. Gradually, she was able to play football with ease. “I’ve always wanted to be a footballer,” Fatou tells The Chronicle. “When you lose your leg at a young age, you think you’ll never be able to do any sport, but I challenged myself to be strong, I got used to it and started playing. So, right now I am concentrating on my training programs for future competitions. I’m really proud of myself”.
The manager of The Gambia National Amputee Football team Bubacarr Jabbie said Fatou has made rapid progress since joining the National Team few months ago. “She’s very determined and focused, Jabbie tells The Chronicle. Fatou is also a versatile footballer, she can play both defensive and attacking roles. I hope she will be a source of inspiration to other physically challenged young women out there to take up football as a career.”
Fatou has now set her eyes on winning an African Cup of Nations trophy for The Gambia. “My dream is to win the women’s amputee African Cup of Nations for the Gambia, “she said. Our team is young and I am sure if we have the support needed, we will make this country proud.”