Three years of work, countless days of preparation, hours of training and tens of thousands of dollars raised by Rotary, and the inaugural Canberra Powerchair Football League is ready to kick off.
The battle for the 2021 Powerchair Football Cup starts on Saturday March 20, with eight players and two teams involved.
Head of Game Development and Coach Kelly Stirton, said after all the work that has been put in, it’s incredible to see it all come to fruition.
“In Canberra it’s massive for us,” Stirton said.
“It’s a long time coming, we’ve been trying to run this program for three years and to be able to have enough players to produce two teams is amazing.”
Woden Valley Soccer Club and Gungahlin United Football Club have both come on board, to sign up a 4-person team each, providing jerseys and support to the players.
Woden Valley Captain Brandon Stroud said the players can’t wait to get started.
“I am very excited and so are all the other players. We’re really looking forward to the inaugural season of Powerchair”.
Training together in the pre-season with nationals selection in mind, the team will split and become foes for 40 minutes of play each fortnight.
“It will be quite interesting to see how we go against each other,” Stroud said.
“There’ll be a bit of rivalry and friendly fire for sure.”
Nationals selection is the next goal in mind for Kelly Stirton, who is one of the main driving forces behind the league.
“Our aim is to have our own competition like New South Wales does, having First Grade and Reserve Grade teams,” Stirton said.
“We’d love to be able to select a Canberra United team to play at that level so this is a starting base for us and hopefully we can expand on that.”
All of this was made possible, thanks to the generosity of the Canberra community and Rotary, who raised $120 000 to buy nine new powerchairs.
“The news chairs have made a big difference,” Stroud said.
“In our old chairs we couldn’t really train properly but now that we have the correct chairs, we can train and hopefully compete in the nationals.
“They are a lot faster. You have to be careful with the controls so you don’t accidentally knock someone over.”
The 2021 fixture for the Canberra Powerchair Football league can be found here.