Baker thankful for FAI assistance ahead of Tanzania trip
The brainchild of former Republic of Ireland amputee football captain Simon Baker (pictured above), will see the FAI join forces with the European Amputee Footbal Federation to support the ICRC Moveability program for the Tanzania Paralympics Committee with equipment to develop amputee football in the African country.
Baker, who is now the General Secretary of the EAFF revealed at Wednesday's launch in FAI HQ that he brought the idea of the partnership to FAI Chief Executive John Delaney, who backed it immediately.
"John Delaney and the FAI bought into the project. Their Logistics Partner DHL have helped us get all of the equipment to Tanzania. The Association are documenting the trip to show how Projects like this can work in the future. It's been excellent".
The FAI have provided support to the project in a number of different areas and will have two full-time staff members travel out to Tanzania, where they will work with 84 amputees registered with the Paralympics Committee on coaching, education, administration, governance and supplying kit & equipment.
"Sports and physical exercise is a proven form of rehabilitation. It was a no-brainer for us to help out with the International Committee Red Cross. All you need are a pair of crutches and a football to play the game", Baker added.
While the trip to Tanzania will last seven days, Baker expects that there will be a greater legacy left behind.
"There's no point in going to take pictures and get back on the plane. We are going to leave a lasting impact. Working with the Federation in Tanzania, we have helped them set up in previous months. We have helped set up a structure, and hope to leave behind some ideas and plans that can take Tanzanian amputee football forward".