A new Powerchair Football Club has been launched – thanks to a generous donation by Microgaming’s health and care trust.
Powerchair Football is a sport specifically for adults and children with severe physical disabilities.
It caters for a wide range of physical impairments, including quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, stroke and spinal cord injury.
It has been a popular sport in the UK for a number of years. There are both regional and national UK Powerchair Football leagues and even a Powerchair Football World Cup!
The game is played indoors with two teams of up to four players. Players use their wheelchairs equipped with bumpers to attack, defend and spin kick the ball.
Keen to introduce this sport locally, Manx Sport & Recreation sought funding to make it happen.
The Microgaming health and care trust eagerly stepped in to provide the funds for goalposts, bumpers, coaching equipment and footballs, as well as supporting training facilities and coaching costs.
Taster sessions were held over two days last week at Project 21 on Greenfield Road in Douglas for young people in both manual and power wheelchairs.
Representatives from the Wheelchair Football Association came over to the island to oversee the sessions and workshops.
Zoe Crowe, disability sports development Officer for Manx Sport & Recreation, said: ‘There are very few sports on the island that cater for wheelchair users, yet we know that participating in sports and physical activities when living with a disability can provide many benefits, such as improved physical fitness, better confidence and enhanced social skills.
‘So we were determined to set up a Powerchair Football Club in the island to combat this, and it’s thanks to the Microgaming health and care trust that we can make this happen.’
Trustee Dr Roy Clague added: ‘We are very supportive of this initiative.’