Sunday, March 5, 2023

The Power of Soccer - Week of Feb. 27th

“My disability exists not because I use a wheelchair, but because the broader environment isn’t accessible." ~Stella Young

Cam is typically willing to try something new.  Most Wednesdays, Mary Free Bed has power soccer practice at the local Mary Free Bed YMCA, just a few minutes from our house.  We wanted to learn a bit more about how power soccer came to be, so we researched its inception.
  • During the 1970’s, some imaginative teachers in France created a form of football (known as soccer in the U.S.) suited to the abilities of students with severe physical disabilities who used power wheelchairs. 
  • In 1982, some energetic Canadian power chair users developed another form of Powerchair Football which they called "motor" soccer (later called power soccer in the US) which followed the rules of able-bodied soccer and applies the strategies of able-bodied rugby and basketball. 
  • In 1988, power soccer was imported to the USA by a disabled sports program founded by university students in Berkeley, California. During these early years, the various forms of Powerchair football were played with most of the countries being unaware of each other’s endeavors. 
  • In 2004, a US Power Soccer coach, David Ruelas, visited Belgium on vacation and discovered the European form of the game. He then made contact with Herve Delattre, the Director of Powerchair Football in France. Their subsequent discussions, led to the idea of developing Powerchair Football into an international sport. 
  • In January 2005, 24 representatives from seven countries (France, US, Canada, Japan, England, Belgium and Portugal) met in Le Chesnay, France and laid the groundwork for the formation of the International Powerchair Football Association (IPFA). 
  • In July 2006, teams from Canada, Denmark, England, France, Japan and the US, as well as delegates from Portugal, Turkey and South Korea, met in Atlanta, GA, USA. While the teams engaged in many practice sessions and a test tournament to fine tune the proposed laws, other delegates worked on a constitution and elected the organization’s first officers. At the end of these meetings the standardized Laws of the Game were adopted, the constitution was ratified, the name was changed and the international governing body, the Federation International Powerchair Football Association (FIPFA) was formally established with headquarters in Paris, France. Over the next several years, many powerchair associations formed around the world and the number of teams competing within FIPFA worldwide is estimated at over 250.
  • In August 2006, United States Power Soccer Association, (USPSA) was born. The USPSA became a legal entity in October 2006 and was granted 501 (c ) 3 non profit status February 2007. 
  • The USPSA is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.

 After trying out the specially designed soccer power chair, Cam couldn't believe how fast it spun around.  He also decided it may be easier if he would be able to drive his own personal chair with an attached guard.  We are hoping to try that route for him at the next practice.

On Thursday, we welcomed our longtime friend, Amanda and her sweet daughter, Sally for the evening.  They were seeing a concert in Grand Rapids and arrived in the afternoon.  It turns out Cam and Sally share similar tastes in favorite foods and they were both quite delighted by their chicken tenders dinner. 

We had made plans to visit Oma and Opa after lunchtime on Saturday.  The start to our journey was a bit later than expected, but we still arrived by 3pm.  Every time we take the exit off the highway, Cameron lets out a big cheer knowing we are getting closer to his grandparents cool apartment.  After visiting and completing a few small projects, we made our way out to dinner.  Don Luis Mexican restaurant was our destination and none of us had ever eaten there.  We were not disappointed by our fajita dinners, quesadilla and grilled shrimp.   

We can always count on Cam to ask the same question after visiting Oma and Opa... "When are we going to see them next?"

Camology Quotes:

Each morning, if we are able to see the sun, the sunrise looks pretty spectacular from our front door.  On the weekend, we truly can enjoy its beauty and re-energize and rejuvenate.  Cam always sees it as a time for his parents to cross something off of the list.

"Mom and Dad, when are we going to start our taxes?  We need to get them done!"

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