Power Wheelchair Soccer, also known as power soccer, is a unique sport in that it was the first sport created specifically for power wheelchair users. It is the fastest growing power wheelchair sport that has grown throughout the world thanks to the Federation International Football Association (FIPFA) and the United States Power Soccer Association (USPSA)! As stated on the USPSA website, “Power soccer isn’t just a game. It’s a way of life. For the coaches, athletes, staff, and volunteers, power soccer builds lifelong relationships while offering opportunities to compete against some of the best teams in the world. If you’re the kind of person that wants to dig deep, fight hard, and prove yourself in the heat of competition, power soccer might just be what you’ve been looking for.” Power soccer is not just a sport for those who play, it is a way of life, a way of living in a way that many power wheelchair users have never experienced before. Many people who play this sport may have careers or other regular social engagements, but for many who play this sport power soccer is their only social outlet. Power soccer provides players with an opportunity to be the athlete that they aspire to be. It allows them an opportunity to not be the ones sitting on the sidelines watching, but the ones being cheered for because of their ability to show off their talents. It allows parents of children with severe disabilities to see a different side of their child; a side where their child is the star and they can cheer for them just as any other child. To see more about the power of power soccer, check out the promotional video from the USPSA!
The Circle City Renegades is a brand new team this year that operates under the Circle City Power Soccer, Inc. 501(c)(3). This team was created because the premier team, the Circle City Rollers, was getting too big and they decided to form another team. The Circle City Renegades are comprised of two former Circle City Rollers players, two semi-experienced players, and Colton Darst, our newest and youngest player. Colton has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. The Circle City Renegades are so happy to have this young, aspiring athlete on our team. Even though he is playing with outdated, borrowed equipment, he is showing great potential with his ball handling skills and his inherent sports mentality. Although he has only been playing for a month, he is showing great potential. However, he is in desperate need of better equipment. The Circle City Renegades are seeking donors and sponsors to help pay for seasonal operational expenses, as well as help offset the cost of travel for their players and families. We are also seeking donors to help us upgrade our player’s equipment to help them reach their fullest potential. Without the assistance from our community, this team would not be possible.
Brandon comes to us from the Circle City Rollers. He has been a great help with teaching this younger, less experienced team the game of power soccer. His skills and knowledge will help us to better achieve our goal of being a strong, competitive team this season. Brandon was a former rugby player who was severely injured during a game resulting in quadraplegia. Brandon now has brought his sports knowledge and skills to the sport of power soccer! Due to his injury, he is required to use a chin joystick mount to play the game, but that does not stop him from being an accurate, effective player. Even though he has had to overcome many obstacles, he has brought his positive spirit to the team to encourage each player to play to their fullest potential, while also being patient with the new players and helping them to understand the nuances of the sport. His courage to overcome his life altering injury and bring a positive spirit to the sport of power soccer is inspiring.
Jake Sherron has Cerebral Palsy and joined the Circle City Renegades this season from another team. He has been playing power soccer in the Founders Division for multiple years, and seeks to improve his skills and eventually move up in the divisions. Jake brings exceptional ball handling skills to the team, and a desire to improve his skills with each practice. Jake now has the opportunity to learn from players such as Brandon, as well as the players and coach from the Circle City Rollers, to help him improve his skills to reach his full potential as a power soccer player.
Chris Parsons has Cerebral Palsy, and has been playing power soccer for multiple years. He is a former Circle City Rollers player, but has not played for a few years due to not having a team near him and in his league. The formation of the Circle City Renegades has created an opportunity for Chris to get back into the amazing sport of power soccer, and has provided him a chance to improve his skills that he learned with the Circle City Rollers. Chris is excited to be able to play the sport again.
Marie has 3-Methylglutaconic Aciduria type IV with Mitochondrial Dysfunction causing Neuromuscular Disease and Dystonia. She joins us this season from another team since this team is now much closer to her home, providing her an opportunity to learn to hone her soccer skills more and learn from some of the best players in the country. Marie’s passion is to learn as much as possible about the sport to one day coach a team of her own. She enjoys working with the younger players to help them learn the game and improve their skills to their fullest potential. Marie’s strengths are in defense, and she hopes to improve her offensive skills and chair and ball control while working with the Circle City Renegades.
Michael Harman was asked to join the Circle City Renegades as the Head Coach this season. He comes to us as the assistant coach from his former team. Although he does not have many years of involvement in the power soccer community, he is very dedicated to learning as much as possible from the other players and coaches in the Circle City Power Soccer Club. Mike dedicates his time to the sport regardless of his busy and unpredictable schedule as a police officer for IMPD. He ensures he is available for every practice and tournament, and is dedicated to learning as much as possible from some of the best players and coach in the nation through the Circle City Power Soccer Club.
The sport of power soccer is very expensive. From registration fees for USPSA and tournaments to travel and equipment expenses, this sport requires a lot of financial support. Our yearly operational expenses range from $2,500 to $3,000, and our travel expenses for the team can reach $3,000 or more depending on the location of the tournaments. A brand new elite power soccer chair, the Strike Force chair, from Power Soccer Shop has a base price of $7,900, but that does not include any additional equipment needs such as a headrest, footrest, or alternative joystick needs. These chairs can easily reach $10,000 for a new chair depending on the player’s needs. The Strike Force chair has become the most widely used chair for power soccer, and any other chair is unable to match the effectiveness of these chairs. Currently, we have two players who do not own Strike Force wheelchairs.
Imagine living with a severe disability requiring the use of a power wheelchair. These disabilities require financial needs for expensive medical equipment, specialized vans for transportation, and other unforseen expenses. Many of our families don’t have the funds to purchase an entire new wheelchair dedicated to soccer, or have the finances to pay for travel expenses. It is our goal to help our families by supplimenting their travel expenses, and one day purchase a power soccer chair for new players to use free of charge until they are able to afford one of their own. If you would like to donate to the Circle City Renegades Power Soccer Team to help us cover these expenses there are many ways you can do so.