03 Aug 2023

By now you should have heard of FISCA (Football Individual Skills Challenge Australia), a unique, fun, and exciting way to improve your football skills, and win amazing prizes. But, what FISCA also does is help raise much-needed funds for a variety of football-related activities including Inclusion programs such as Powerchair football.

Powerchair is fast taking the football world by storm with the FIPFA Powerchair World Cup set to take place in Sydney from 15-21 October this year. There’s also an annual National Championship, a competition that is close to the heart of Canberra United Powerchair ambassador, Brandon Stroud.

“Powerchair is a very inclusive team sport designed and developed specifically for electric wheelchair users and is fast paced and enjoyable to watch,” Stroud revealed.

“It doesn’t matter which gender you are and there are no splitting teams into age groups. These participants include persons with quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, head trauma, stroke, spinal cord injury and other disabilities.”

Being able to take part in sport is something that most of us take for granted, giving little thought to the fact that just taking to the field or court is a given. What Powerchair does s empower athletes of all abilities to be active and involved in the game that they love, as Stroud elaborated.

“It has a huge impact on athletes to be able to play the game as you can participate in a team sport and learn the meaning of teamwork,” he said. “This enables athletes to be able to compete with people with the same or similar disabilities. It is also a good way to make new friends and help to support one another.

“The best thing about playing Powerchair Football is it doesn’t feel like you have a disability, you feel like an athlete playing the sport you love. You get to play competitive competition matches in a local competition.

“Then if you are selected, you can go on to represent your state and if you do well in that you could get selected to play for the National team known as the Poweroos.”

Fundraising is critical at many levels, but for Powerchair it’s a must. The cost of the Powerchairs themselves can be prohibitive and any way in which funds can be spent on inclusive activities should be applauded. FISCA will be another avenue for raising awareness and money for this amazing sport.

“Fundraising initiatives are important as most of the costs of participating in the sport are covered by the athletes and their families,” Stroud said.

“Funds received from fundraising initiatives can be used for sports equipment, purchasing spare powerchairs for new players, assisting players to national competitions and transport to events.

“A normal powered wheelchair is used for everyday use to help you get around. On the other hand, the Powerchair is only to be used whilst playing the sport of Powerchair Football. These chairs have a low centre of gravity and a wider wheelbase.

“This makes the chair move with a lot of agility and make it easier to do spin kicks. The chairs are also a lot faster going forwards and backwards compared to a normal powered wheelchair and that comes at a cost.”