Power Soccer hopes to go to the Paralympics
Sport wants to bring more awareness to it's value and importance for players
By Anita Zhu
While Power Soccer has been turned down for inclusion multiple times, the team manager of a Vancouver league says the sport provides great benefits and should be included in the Paralympic Games.
Power Soccer is a game played using motorized wheelchairs, or power chairs, with specialized foot guards that allow physically disabled individuals to kick the ball. The game is played in teams off four, including a goalkeeper, with two 20 minute periods. The sport failed to qualify in the 2016 Rio, 2020 Tokyo and the 2024 Paris Paralympics.
Margaret McLeod, who manages the Vancouver Lightning Club, said she would like to see it included one day.
“It has been very disappointing Power Soccer continues to fail to meet the inclusion criteria in a number of areas to gain Paralympic status,” said McLeod, whose son Dale looks forward to his games each week. “This sport provides so much value to its players and reaching the Paralympic status will help to create more awareness and to provide financial support in this rewarding program.”
Lareina Yung has been playing Power Soccer for 13 years, traveling to Montreal and San Jose to play matches. Yung is optimistic about Power Soccer’s future in the Paralympics but isn’t worried about the possibility of another failed bid.
“I think in the future they probably will include it,” Yung said. “We don’t just play to get into the Paralympics. We play because it is fun.”
Lareina’s sister, Lianna Alexandra Yung, has been coaching the team for more than 10 years and said the sport provides a much-needed way for players to exercise and learn teamwork.
“This is the only sport they can play. They wouldn’t have the physical abilities to join other Paralympic sports,” she said.
However, in order for there to be a stronger chance to qualify for the Paralympics, Yung says there needs to be more players.
Currently, there are only about 10 players in Vancouver and 70 players all together in Canada.