What is it about?

This article examines the adapted sport of power soccer, or powerchair football, the first competitive team sport for motorized wheelchair users. Results from in-depth interviews with over 30 athletes from around the United States reveal that participants enjoy a wide array of psychological, emotional and sociological benefits.

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Why is it important?

Power soccer is the first competitive team sport developed exclusively for motorized wheelchair users. Motorized wheelchair users have historically been excluded from not only sports in general, but also previous adapted sports designed for paraplegics. Power soccer finally provides the opportunity to participate and adopt the athlete identity, making it an ideal context to perform qualitative research.

Perspectives

My son, Ryan (1993-2013), lived with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He loved sports and always dreamed of playing a competitive team sport. When he discovered power soccer at the age of 14, it really changed his life and sparked a research interest in me that has spanned over a decade. In most cases, power soccer athletes have degeneritive conditions that result in a comparatively short lifespan. This adds to the impetus to capture and communicate the stories of these athletes and advocate for more programs with opportunities and benefits like power soccer.

Dr Michael S Jeffress
Tennessee State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Opportunities and Benefits for Powerchair Users Through Power Soccer, Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, July 2017, Human Kinetics, DOI: 10.1123/apaq.2016-0022.
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