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January 2, 2007 > Power Soccer

Power Soccer

By Biff Jones

Power soccer is coming to the Tri-City Area on a national scale. The national Team USA (the best players in the United States), is composed of twelve athletes, both male and female, and will compete in the first "International Power Football World Cup" being held October, 2007 and hosted by Japan. Teams from all over the world will be competing. Of the twelve USA team members, five are from Northern California and the East Bay.

Chris Finn, of the BORP Bay Cruisers (Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program) in Berkeley is the head coach of Team USA. BORP is a member of the Northern California Power Soccer League which also includes teams from San Jose, Hollister and Sacramento. Balance Bar(r), manufacturer of long lasting energy bars for athletes, is a sponsor of Mr. Finn.

Team USA will be holding their second training camp this week-end, January 4, 5, and 6 at UNLV in Las Vegas. Companies such as Robert Half International and Pleasanton and Rapport Leadership International have sponsored the training camp. The third training camp is scheduled for March, 29, 30, and 31 at the George M. Silliman Community Center here in Newark. It will also include exhibition matches and be open to the public. The team is currently looking for sponsorships of the Newark training camp. Anyone interested in sponsoring the team can contact Chris Finn at: powersoccerusa@yahoo.com.

The following is a brief description of the sport:

Power soccer is the most exciting new development for power wheelchair users and is a team sport played by individuals with various disabilities. It is unisex by design, and male and female participants are often on the same team, as well as opposing sides. The game is usually played in a gymnasium on a regulation basketball court, and occasionally there are outdoor parking lot competitions. Two teams of four power chair users (which includes the goalie) attack, defend, and maneuver an oversized soccer ball in an attempt to score points on a goal. The game is similar to the non-stop action seen in a typical indoor soccer game.

The sport is a true dynamic development for power wheelchair users. This action-packed team sport combines the skill of the wheelchair user with the speed and power of the chair itself, to participate in an extremely challenging game very similar to soccer. Power soccer is the first competitive team sport designed and developed specifically for power wheelchair users. These participants include persons with quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, head trauma, stroke, and other disabilities.

The will to win, the competitive challenge, teamwork, and the total competitive spirit of an athlete is in no way limited or diminished because of confinement to a wheelchair. As in all sports, win, lose, or draw, the thrill and joy is in playing the game.

About the governing body of USA Power Soccer:

The United States Power Soccer Association (USPSA) governs the sport of power soccer in the United States and helps promote the sport on a national and international level. It is the mission and hope of the USPSA that all persons who use power wheelchairs will one day have the opportunity to play and experience power soccer. The most popular sport in the world, soccer, is now quickly becoming the most popular sport for people who until recently never had the chance to play sports. In particular, power soccer is a team sport that helps build important qualities in people, such as teamwork, communication, hard work, perseverance and good sportsmanship. The USPSA is also driven to help make power soccer an internationally recognized sport that will one day place it in the Paralympics.

More information on the local members of Team USA Power Soccer, the upcoming practice and exhibition in Newark and schedules of teams in the Northern California Power Soccer League, will be forthcoming in future editions of the Tri-City Voice Newspaper. To contact Coach Finn directly, write to: powersoccerusa@yahoo.com.


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