Investment through funding made possible by the Active Living: No Limits 2021 has helped Northern Ireland’s two newest power chair football clubs Hot Wheels PFC (Co Tyrone) and Devenish Warriors (Co Fermanagh) to develop.
Sport Northern Ireland, through Department for Communities invested over £1m in accessible capital sports equipment during 2016/17 and 2017/18 to support the development of a network of ‘disability sports hubs’ (and associated satellite sites) across Northern Ireland, with at least one located in each of Northern Ireland’s 11 District Council areas.
The investment provided each ‘disability sports hub’ with a range of specialist equipment including sports wheelchairs, track racing wheelchairs; rugby wheelchairs; hand cycles; tandem cycles; trike bikes; boccia starter packs and sensory activity packs.
Powerchair football forms part of the IFA Disability Football strategy – and the new chairs facilitate the development of two new clubs (to add to the Trailblazers Club, Belfast and Lightning Club, Lisburn) and enables the NI Powerchair Football Team to come together for training and matches.
The new 11 Strikeforce chairs cost over £70,000 allocated from the Department for Communities to Sport NI and delivered by Disability Sport NI in partnership with the IFA, this allowed relocation of other power chairs to the new clubs in Donaghmore and Ballanamallard.
Joe Graham from the Devenish Warriors has welcomed the investment which could lead to a Northern Ireland Power Chair League being set up.
“We play out of the Archdale Hall in Ballinamallard, William and Ben both got funding through the Caudwell Children for their own chairs then Alan Crooks (IFA) was able to tap into the funding,”
“Now with them getting the new Strike Force chairs that has freed their two chairs up and then we working on development, we have the club in Fermanagh and another club going in Dungannon and the great opportunity to provide a pathway to have a Northern Ireland League, at the minute if you want to compete in a competition you have to go to Dublin or Limerick.”
If you are a Wheelchair User and love Football, come and play a fast, action-packed Game in a Fun environment.
For more information please contact Alan Crooks at the Irish Football Association on 07894614324 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured backrow L-R Michael Hilland (Belfast Trailblazers and Northern Ireland), David Martin (IFA President) Alan Crooks (IFA), Donal Byrne (European Powerchair Football Association), Tony Murphy (Department for Communities), Angharad Bunt (Sport NI) Kevin O’Neill (Chief Executive Disability Sport NI) Aubrey Bingham (Disability Sport NI)
Front Row, members of the Northern Ireland Powerchair football team