ISLE OF MAN – The Microgaming Health & Care Trust has made a donation to Manx Sport & Recreation to help establish a Powerchair Football Club on the island. The new club launches in April.
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. There is 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 & 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.
Zoe Crowe, Disability Sports Development Officer for Manx Sport & Recreation, comments: “Manx Sport & Recreation’s Isle of Man Strategy for Sport 2014 – 2024 aims to enhance and enrich people’s lives through regular and sustainable participation in sport and physical activity. 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 on the island to combat this, and it’s thanks to the Microgaming Health & Care Trust that we can make this happen.”
Dr. Roy Clague, Trustee of the Microgaming Health Care & Trust, adds: “We are very supportive of this initiative. Powerchair Football is providing wheelchair users with the opportunity to turn their disability into ability. Football is a much-loved sport and everyone should have the opportunity to play the game. Zoe’s hard work and dedication to get this club started is incredible, and we believe it will be a great addition to the island’s sporting community.”
Representatives from the Wheelchair Football Association will be coming to the island to offer a series of Powerchair Football sessions and workshops. The Powerchair Football sessions will be taking place on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th April from 10am-3pm at Centre 21, Greenfield Road, for all children in manual and power wheelchairs.
Furthermore, a Powerchair Football workshop will be taking place on Tuesday 14th April from 5-7pm at the IOM College, Main Hall, for anyone who is interested in the game and would like to get involved in Powerchair Football on the island. Individuals will have the opportunity to learn the rules of the game and take part in a series of games, skills and activities.
“We have a number of teenagers in wheelchairs that are counting down the days until the first Powerchair Football session; they can’t wait” continues Zoe Crowe. “We encourage individuals to attend the session in April; it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
For more information on Powerchair Football, and if you would like to attend the workshop on Tuesday 14th April, please contact Zoe Crowe on 01624 688575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.