Rebecca Sellar hopes her story in amputee football can encourage others

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Scottish ground-breaker Rebecca Sellar hopes her story in amputee football can serve as a source of encouragement for others.

The 30-year-old was involved when the sport was trialled and launched in Scotland in 2016, played for Partick Thistle against English sides as the only female member of the team, and was subsequently the sole woman in the Scottish national side.

Sellar, who was born with deformities to her right leg and pelvis, leading to an amputation at the age of one, and is currently taking time away from the game as she awaits hip surgery, has a personal blog titled ‘Breaking Boundaries’.

“It’s the cherry on top of the cake to have come through difficult situations and have happy answers to be able to give to someone else, to hopefully empower them when it comes to their own lives.”

Sellar says it was “quite intimidating” at first attending an amputee football taster session in terms of taking off her prosthetic leg and playing on crutches.

But she relished the challenge, and says her experiences in sport – which also include wheelchair tennis and paraclimbing – have helped her embrace her disability and “shaped me to be the person I am.”

She said: “When we (Partick) started going down to the leagues, that’s when I started to come up against some stereotypes and assumptions of why I was there.

“I had some sexist comments made about why one girl would want to be involved with a team of men. Most of the time there was fantastic feedback, but occasionally there were obvious comments that they didn’t want me to be part of it.”

Sellar also recalls on one trip she was expected, for a separate changing space, to use a storage cupboard that had no lock.

She said: “That’s the angriest I’ve felt. I stood up for myself then, and my team stood up for me as well, and we changed that. But I can imagine those sorts of actions are what would end up putting someone off and pushing them away from the sport, which is my biggest concern.

“We need to try to break the bias. We need to make sure everybody understands we’re just as welcome as any guy.”

Rebecca Sellar, left, and Guyana Women international Hannah Baptiste
Rebecca Sellar, left, and Guyana Women international Hannah Baptiste (Handout photo provided by Miss Kick)

Sellar, who currently works as a tennis coach and hopes after her operation to return to playing football and try out for the Great Britain para-climbing team, was speaking as Miss Kick launched its new training wear collection, coinciding with International Women’s Day.

She said of Miss Kick, the brand founded in 2018 by former Manchester City and Liverpool youth player Grace Vella that produces kit and clothing designed for female footballers: “When I’ve been playing football, everything I’ve been given has been styled and designed for men.

“For a brand to be specifically focusing on women, I think that’s fantastic and well-needed, because it makes football seem more like a place that is welcoming. It’s something I’m really proud to be a part of, because it’s something I stand for as well, trying to make sure women feel welcome in football.”

:: For more information on Miss Kick’s International Women’s Day campaign visit

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