Rebecca makes Scotland debut in second sport

Rebecca Sellers from Motherwell represents the Scotland's amputee football team
Rebecca Sellers from Motherwell represents the Scotland's amputee football team

A Motherwell woman was the only female member of the team as Scotland’s national amputee football team took on The Netherlands.

The team was put together by Amputee Football Association Scotland (AFAS), the charity set up last year to promote and develop the discipline of amputee football in Scotland.

The newly formed squad, made up of 11 individuals each with a lower or upper limb amputation or limb difference, made their international debut against the Dutch at the SportScotland National Training Centre in Inverclyde on Saturday.

Rebecca Sellar (25) who was born and raised in Motherwell but now stays in Livingstone, began playing for Partick Thistle amputees in May 2017.

Despite being small in stature, her prowess on the pitch impressed coaches and following trials for the Scotland squad she was selected to represent her nation.

Rebecca has also competed in tournaments in the English league where she is the only female player.

The assistant stem-cell research scientist, had her leg amputated following complications as a baby however she has not let it hold her back.

The feisty female has already represented Scotland in wheelchair tennis this year and regularly climbs, swims and cycles.

Rebecca said: “Playing football has introduced me to people in a similar situation and has given me a passion for a new sport.

“The opportunity to represent my country is the icing on the cake.

“There is no reason why having an amputation should hold anyone back and I would encourage anyone to come and try the sport. I’d love to see more females involved.”

AFAS began amputee football last year as a pilot project in partnership with Partick Thistle Community Trust.

The game is played on crutches with teams of seven-a-side. Those in goals must have an upper limb amputation while those outfield a lower amputation.

Training is held fortnightly at Firhill and AFAS launched a rival team with Dundee United in September, with an East versus West clash scheduled for later in the year.

The aim of AFAS is to create Scotland’s own amputee football league, an objective fully supported by the Scottish Football Association, while Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Public Health and Sport, has also given her backing.

The Scots will aim to put a 3-0 defeat to the Dutch behind them as they look to qualify for the Amputee Football European Championships in 2021.

Ashley Reid, founder and CEO of Amputee Football Association Scotland, said: “From running a pilot project with a handful of players to being able to present a Scotland squad for an international tournament signals the appetite for this sport in Scotland.

“When the players are on the pitch, disabilities are secondary. It’s simply about individuals coming together to play competitive football at a high level.

“Representing your country is something many can only dream about and the honour is not lost on this team.”