A teenage athlete who was recently fitted for a prosthetic weightlifting device says the support of the War Amps has been crucial to letting him pursue the sports he loves.
Winnipeg’s Kieran Dalkie, 15, told Global News that being born a right-arm amputee hasn’t stopped him from participating in sports from a young age, and the new device is helping him stay competitive.
“I’ve had a prosthetic ever since I was a baby,” Dalkie said.
“I mainly started playing soccer, so I didn’t use one, but I started getting into sports like hockey, and I eventually got an arm that I put on and used, because I was a goalie and it helped me a lot.”
After shifting to basketball and playing without a prosthetic, which he says felt more natural, Dalkie said he needed to gain some strength to stay competitive as he moved into his teenage years — which is where the War Amps’ Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program came in.
Dalkie was fitted for an adjustable prosthetic device that allows him to do a full range of exercises to build up his strength.
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“As I’m getting older, people started getting stronger that I’m playing against … so I decided to get an arm that I just strap a harness on.
“I have a gauge that I can put in to do push-ups and anything like that, and there’s also a (device) for any weightlifting that I can do to strengthen my arm, like bicep curls.”
Dalkie said programs like CHAMP give him and other young amputees the confidence they need to succeed.
“I always used to be shy about it, because you go out in public and you’re not the same as everyone.
“The more support people give to the kids, the more confident they will be going into the world, being able to show off their prosthetics. It’ll make them more comfortable — they can be just like any other kid and not feel left out.”