The Canberra Powerchair Football League may have only been running for a few weeks, but the support is steadily growing.
Gungahlin United FC is one of the two clubs involved in the ground-breaking competition, along with Woden Valley SC, and President Neil Harlock says the decision to sign up was a no brainer.
“For Gungahlin, we like to classify as a full-service club. One of our core values is inclusiveness, so for us it was a real no brainer,” said Harlock.
“We were pretty much inspired by the work done by Kelly Stirton and the team at Capital Football, to get involved.”
Harlock says that he has been following the more established leagues in New South Wales and believes that playing in a competition of that size would be great exposure for the players.
“For us, we want to try and expand, and broaden, our football reach.
“Looking at some of the players here, I’m sure that they’d like the exposure and the challenge of playing against more players and more teams every week or every couple of weeks.”
The 2022 FIPFA Powerchair Football World Cup was officially launched at Bankwest Stadium back in April and will feature 80 athletes from Australia, France, the USA, England, Denmark, Ireland, Norther Ireland, Argentina, Uruguay and Japan.
The 10 teams will play 58 matches across seven days and will play out of the Quaycentre at Sydney Olympic Park, scheduled to begin on 16 October 2022.
Harlock says that having local players in this competition would be amazing not just for Gungahlin but Canberra as a whole.
“For any of these players to be playing football now is a great achievement and to be able to go on and potentially represent your country at any sport or any level is a fantastic achievement.
“But also getting to know the sport more, and the hard work that they do put in, as players and as parents who are supporting, it’d be outstanding to be able to see and for Canberrans to get in and watch some games if there are any options here as well.”