Harry Boddy, a keen Powerchair Football player from South Shields, recently received a grant from the Joseph Patrick Trust that will help him purchase a new Strike Force wheelchair and take part in the upcoming season starting this weekend.
Powerchair Football is a sport that gives people with a high level of impairment access to the game of football. People of any age, gender and disability can play and it is currently the only active team participation sport for people who use electric wheelchairs. This weekend the Premier League kicks off in Nottingham.
As well as the physical benefits of participating in sport, it can teach people the importance of teamwork, self-discipline, and leadership. Powerchair Football also gives individuals a sense of independence that they may not necessarily have in other parts of their lives.
Harry, who plays for the Northern Thunder team, hopes his new wheelchair will help him achieve his goal of returning to the England squad. The 25-year-old had previously received an England Cap when he played for them during their qualification for the World Cup in Limerick.
Despite these high ambitions, Harry is keen to highlight that, for him, the most significant aspect of Powerchair Football is the social side of the sport, telling us:
This powerchair will allow me to play football with my friends again. For example when I used to go away to Nottingham for competitive football weekends and regular training throughout the week, Powerchair Football was my main source of socialising.
With his grant from the Joseph Patrick Trust and his new powerchair, Harry’s (self-confessed) competitive drive can be fed and he can continue to improve his skills and follow his passion.
With this Strike Force powerchair I will be able to realise my potential and be the best I’ve ever been.
The Joseph Patrick Trust and Muscular Dystrophy UK wishes Harry the best of luck for the season ahead!
With the new season nearly upon us, there is no better time to get involved within this fast-paced, dynamic and overall enjoyable sport. To get involved visit the Wheelchair Football Association’s (WFA) website and use their interactive map to find the nearest club to you.
The Joseph Patrick Trust is the grant-giving arm of Muscular Dystrophy UK, and awards funding towards the cost of specialist equipment for people with muscular dystrophy and related conditions. The aim of the Trust is to promote independence and quality of life for disabled people, and funding will be considered for items such as powered wheelchairs, mobile arm supports, electric beds and some forms of Assistive Technology.
To learn more about the Joseph Patrick Trust and to apply for a grant, please visit www.musculardystrophyuk.org/JPT or call on 0207 803 4811.