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SportAbility Coastal Cup brings international power soccer teams to BC

 

Hosting BC grant helps lift local tournament to new heights

On Saturday, June 8, 2013 SportAbility British Columbia kicked off their first annual Coastal Cup Power Soccer Invitational at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The first of its kind for power soccer in BC, the international competition hosted teams from BC, Quebec and Japan.
 

What is power soccer?

Known internationally as “powerchair football”, power soccer is a form of the traditional soccer game modified for athletes in power wheelchairs. Played in co-ed teams, power soccer athletes skillfully maneuver, pass and shoot an oversized soccer ball by bouncing it off a specialized foot-guard attached to the front of their power chairs.

What makes this sport amazing is more than just the talent, training and specialized skill set required. Every power soccer athlete has a unique story to tell, having had to overcome their own adversities on the journey to becoming a power soccer player. Most power soccer athletes have either been born without the ability to walk or have lost the ability over time. Some of the athletes have also lost muscle function throughout their body, sometimes requiring them to power their chair using a specialized breathing apparatus.

So, though power soccer is a sport like any other with rules and regulations, coaches and officials, it is inextricably special due to the inspirational stories shared by each athlete that takes the court.
 

BC power soccer team fights a tough competition to make it to final round

BC Storm Force vs. Japan Red Eagles Hyogo. Photo Credit: Carol Turnbull

After two exciting days showcasing incredible talent, stiff competition and great team spirit from all, one of our home teams - the BC Arashi Force –lost a tough battle in the final round against the Japan Red Eagles Hyogo. The loss, however, was not taken to heart as all athletes were thrilled to have had the opportunity to compete against new teams and meet new athletes from the international powerchair football scene.

With a successful first tournament under their belt and a vested interest in future play from both Quebec and Japan teams, SportAbility is hoping to expand the tournament next year and bring in more teams from countries around the world. For full tournament results please visit SportAbility.ca.

Hosting BC Grant opens doors for new power soccer possibilities
 

The Coastal Cup is also one of the recent events that received funding from the Hosting BC grant program—one that provides funding to sport event organizers to facilitate sport, economic, social and community development. With support from the Hosting BC Grant Program, the Coastal Cup Invitational marked the first time BC power soccer athletes have had the opportunity to compete with international talent on their home turf. The funding from the Hosting BC grant was utilized to help secure the Richmond Olympic Oval as the invitational venue of choice, as well as bring in two international referees. Having the ability to host the tournament in a state-of-the-art, Olympic quality venue, in addition to having two top international officials, laid the initial groundwork that enabled the organization to invite and host international level teams.

 “Having the funding available from the Hosting BC grant made the difference between a local tournament and an international invitational,” said SportAbility Executive Director Terrie Moore. “This difference increased the quality of competition for the athletes, thus allowing them to showcase their skill against higher calibre teams.”

Given the sheer amount of space and convenience of location, the Richmond Oval was also the perfect location to host a special presentation from Diane Clement, a member of the Vancouver Telus Community Board. During a break in the event, Diane presented SportAbility with a cheque for $10,000 in support of their Intro to Sportprogram, which takes place throughout Greater Vancouver.
 

More on power soccer

Power soccer first emerged in Canada in the 1980s and has since become an international sport with its own congress, constitution, rules and regulations.  In October 2011, SportAbility and Powerchair Football Canada sent their very first National PowerChair Football team to the FIFPA World Cup in Paris, France, which included eight players from BC. To learn more about power soccer, please visit sportabilitybc.ca

Congratulations to SportAbility in hosting a very successful event and in helping to increase awareness for disability sport in BC. To view more photos from the Coastal Cup, visit SportAbility’s Facebook Page.

For more information on the Hosting BC grant program please visit viaSport.ca.