World Cup 2011 - C'mon the lads ( and lasses!)
The Powerchair Football World Cup will shortly be kicking off in Paris, France and The Percy Hedley Foundation's Sports Academy has a strong contingent there in a variety of roles. Ten countries will be participating and the competition will take place over the first week of November.
Faye Stevenson, Rob Thompson and Edward Common, all from the Academy's Northern Thunder team will be representing England in the competition and all of them are hoping to bring back the trophy. The players are all veterans of international Powerchair Football, having represented England in the 2007 World Cup in Tokyo, Japan and have been training hard over the last few months in the run up to the competition.
Allen Harrison will again be coaching the team, retaining his position as Head Coach following the 2007 event and this time around will be assisted by Jamie Harrison, one of the coaches from the Sports Academy.
Stewart Evans, Head Occupational Therapist at the Foundation will also be at the event but with an impartial head on as he leads the Classification Commission and the classification of players at the event. Stewart has been instrumental in the design and implementation of the classification system for Powerchair Football over the last few years which has been an important part of the development of the sport as it applies for Paralympic sport status.
Last but not least Adam Parry, Sports Development Manager will also be present at the World Cup in the challenging role of Tournament Director. Adam is responsible for the running of the whole tournament and will include all aspects from the arrival of the teams to their departure and everything in between.
Adam said "The World Cup this year is the biggest event so far in the history of Powerchair Football and is a crucial event as the sport continues its quest to get in to the Paralympic Games."
He continued "From a team point of view it is excellent that the Percy Hedley Foundation is so well represented in the England setup with almost half of the squad coming from our team and we are providing two of the three coaches. We wish them luck in the competition. With me and Stewart taking on the official roles we have and it will be difficult to remain impartial when we are over there! It is testament to the role that the Foundation has in the development of Powerchair Football on the international stage. From the demonstration at Nissan many years ago to where we are today, just goes to show that we have really been pushing the boundaries for disability sport and in this case is affecting the lives of disabled people from all over the world."