A teenage footballer who was so short-sighted that he could only see through thick spectacles and was banned from playing in organised games, has had his eyesight improved to almost perfect vision thanks to surgery costing thousands of dollars paid for by the West Bay Sports Foundation.
Jason Foster, 17, was a keen player with Elite Sports Club in West Bay, but wearing glasses in matches is not allowed for safety reasons.
When he could not play anymore the West Bay Sports Foundation, founded two years ago by football coach Ardin “Cheeky” Rivers to assist youngsters such as Mr. Foster, raised the cash needed for lens implants.
“I was always very short-sighted and I had the first operation on my right eye in July last year,” Mr. Foster said. “And the second one was in April. My sight is not 20/20 but it is improved a lot from having the implants.
“Now I can enjoy my football 100 per cent better. I think I can get into Elite’s first team now because of the way I play and how well I obey the coaches’ orders.
“I am very grateful to the West Bay Sports Foundation and all the coaches who have helped.”
William Madina is coach with Elite Sports Club’s reserve team and a member of the West Bay Sports Foundation that organised a fundraiser and got sponsorship for Mr. Foster.
“We don’t have an exact figure on how much was raised but it was between $10-$11,000,” Mr. Madina said. “Jason can see much better now and is enjoying his football again. From coaching and watching him play it is a tremendous boost for him.” Dr. Eugene Foley performed the surgery at the George Town Hospital.
Coach Roy “Huta” Ebanks, technical director at Future Sporting Club in West Bay and another member of the foundation, said: “I am very proud of what Cheeky is trying to accomplish here with the foundation and in the community. I hope and trust people that can make this happen for him will continue to come out and sponsor and support him because you can see that Jason is what the foundation is all about. It is a great plus for the community.”