Floreat Athena unveils new Power Chair Football Team

 

“It’s soccer in a go cart”

Floreat Athena Football Club has joined forces with some of the best Powerchair Football players in the state to form a team for next season’s competition at the Loftus Recreation Centre in Leederville.
 
The sport is growing rapidly in Australia and power chair footballers Dylan Needham and Aidan Jones, are keen to grow the presence of the sport and lift its profile through the newly formed association with Athena.

“I’ve been playing for the last 5 years” Needham said.

“We all get to compete on an even playing field, no matter what disability you have, you can compete at the top level”.

Western Australian Powerchair Football Association coach Justin Lattaway said the electric power chairs- which can cost between 15 to 30 thousand dollars-bring an exciting dimension to the sport.

“Power chair football: it’s soccer in a go cart really” he joked.

“The chairs they use are insane. They’re quick, they spin really fast and these boys don’t have so much strength, so they have to get their hands strapped down and harnessed in there because of the G-force that’s involved. So yeah there is a bit of rumble and tumble” he added.
 
Con Poulios (FAFC), Dylan Needham, Justin Lattaway, Aidan Jones, Sam Albanis (FAFC)

For 27-year old Aidan Jones, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the tender age of four, playing Power Chair Football has given him a new lease on life.

“I was walking up until I was 12. But ever since, I’ve been in my chair” he said.

“Teaming up with Floreat Athena gives me a lot of hope because when I first went into my wheelchair I wasn’t very motivated and I didn’t’ want to do anything.

“And then I found a sport, that I can represent (one day) my country. It was a very good opportunity to get out and about”.

Right now there are 30 countries playing the sport across the globe and after competing at the last World Cup in the United States in 2017, Australia managed to finish a highly respectable fourth position.

“We are really excited about Floreat Athena getting involved and it will help us out at our local competition” added Needham.

"We really hope that it helps some of our local players to feed into the state team and playing for their country”.

“It gives us a more professional feel and we’re here to play football and it’s great to have Floreat involved” he said.

Athena club spokesman Peter Kapsanis said the partnership with the Power Chair Football team was one of 30 or more community link programs Floreat Athena had established in the wider community over the past three years.

“Football is our core business but we want to tap into as many community aspects around us to ensure that our facility whether it is the football pitch or our clubrooms here at Litis Stadium, are utilized by as many groups and organisations as possible”.

“We’ve never been a shut shop. We’ve been here since the stadium was known as the Velodrome for 40 years and we plan on being here for another 40 years and beyond for everyone to enjoy our facility” Kapsanis added.

The Power Chair Football season starts next year at Loftus Recreation Centre.

For more information contact the WA Power Chair Football Association here:
http://www.wapfa.org.au/ 
 
 

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