Football has always played a huge role in my life. When I was a child, I went to a specialist sports school, where I played competitive football for seven years. By the age of fourteen, I was training less but going to watch my team, Dynamo Kiev, with my friends every week. I also collected photographs of the team that I then put into albums.
After I became disabled, football was almost left behind. I sometimes told myself that I still wanted to go and watch my team again, but I never acted on those words. Back in 2012, the NSC Olympiyskiy arena was reconstructed ahead of UEFA EURO 2012, where the final was played. In the past, Dynamo Kiev played their European matches at the stadium, and now we would be able to return home once again.
After winter had passed, a friend of mine asked whether I wanted to go along to watch a match at the stadium with him. I was quite nervous but once I was there, I couldn’t put my feelings into words. I hadn’t been to watch a live match for ten years, and it was wonderful to be back. Just being in the stadium gave me a huge boost of energy, emotion and confidence. Watching football on the television is good, but nothing compares to being there live.
I have been back for another match since then, and will definitely carry on attending as a fan. It is such a thrill to have football back in my life again.
“Nothing compares to being there live”
Sergey Rozhentsov- Ukraine