What is it about?

Power soccer is a sport in which teams of four compete against each other in an effort to drive a 13-inch soccer ball through goals using motorized wheelchairs. The athletes typically have upper and lower extremity impairment and the sport is played co-ed. Because chairs are motorized, traditional physiological gender differences in sport have been removed. Still, the sport is over 80% male. This study explored the experiences of female power soccer players in light of three distinct positions they hold: as athletes with disabilities in a predominantly non-disabled world; as athletes with more impactful physiological impairments within the disability sport community; and as women in a co-ed male-dominated sport. Results indicate experiences of ableism and minimally impactful but present sexism. Finally, participants note how they engage with social dynamics related to their disabilities and gender.

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Why is it important?

This study highlights a neglected demographic within disability studies, and adapted sport in particular, motorized wheelchair users, plus it focuses on the intersection of gender by looking at the perspectives of female athletes, who represent only about 20% of all athletes in the sport of powerchair football (power soccer).


Qualitative research comprised of interview data.

Dr Michael S Jeffress
Tennessee State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Women of power soccer: exploring disability and gender in the first competitive team sport for powerchair users, Sport in Society, January 2018, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2017.1421174.
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