Today I want to tell you about a local Powerchair Football team called The Wessex Warriors as I was recently invited to a training session to meet the team and experience zooming around in a Powerchair.
Powerchair Football is a competitive 4 player team sport for people with physical disabilities who use power wheelchairs to play football. The game is played indoors on a regulation basketball court and is very fast-paced. Two teams compete to score goals against one another.
Wessex Warriors are the first Powerchair Football Club in Dorset and the team train at the Victoria Education Centre in Poole. The team is open to both sexes and all ages. Currently the team is made up of players between the ages of 5 and 43 and their Team Captain is Liam Drummond.
Each training session starts with a reminder of the team’s motto ‘Discipline and Respect’ then the players start their drills practicing the sport’s skills such as ball control and accuracy. I got to watch the footballers then it was my chance to try out a Powerchair for myself. It was very zippy!
First I practiced passing the ball with Liam, then I tried spinning the chair which increases power behind the ball. You move the ball by hitting it with a bumper on the front of the chair. The top speed of the chair is 6 miles per hour which is pretty fast in a small space. The ball is 2-3 times bigger than a regular football. I wasn’t the only newbie trying out that day, The Mayor of Poole, Councillor Xena Dion, had also come along to meet the team and find out more about the sport so we had fun learning the basics together.
The team are progressing rapidly and represent Dorset in the South East Powerchair Football League. There are over 700 players in the country and they have the opportunity to ascend the ranks and play nationally and internationally – the next FIPFA World Cup will be held in Florida in 2017 and 27 different countries will compete. Powerchair Football could even be a Paralympic Sport by 2020.
Thank you to the Wessex Warriors for letting me come along and learn about this amazing sport, I had a great time. If you are interested in finding out more about the team, or have a physical disability and would like to play Powerchair Football, please visit their website wessexwarriors.co.uk
Thank you for reading and goodbye!
By the Secret Young Person