Meet Helen Chappell, Chair - Leeds Powerchair FC
Have you always been sporty?
Kind of. I’ve always had an interest in sports, before powerchair football I joined a local wheelchair basketball club. Physically, that’s quite a demanding sport and, as I have brittle bones, I wasn’t able to play so instead got involved in the organising & social side of things.
When did you get involved in powerchair football?
After the London Paralympic Games in 2012, I saw an ad from a local club running a taster session for people to come along and try powerchair football. Before then I didn’t know the sport existed to be honest!
I think around eight people were there that day – now our club has 25-30 members across our four teams ranging from The Chariots (that I play for) competing in the national league, through to our development side where the focus is more about socialising and having fun.
Why powerchair football?
One of the best things is it’s really inclusive – there’s a level for everybody. I play in competitive national league matches, but we have members of our club involved in the development team for whom the most important side is the socialising and being part of a team. Men, women, boys and girls can all play in the same team, not to mention you can continue playing into your 60’s & beyond!
And it’s such good fun – it gives people with conditions such as brittle bones, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy the opportunity to play a fast-paced team sport.
What would you say to people who would like to give it a go?
Go for it! If you’re in the Leeds area, come to our open session have a look and (if you’d like to) try out a chair. If you’re elsewhere in the UK, take a look at Parasport’s activity finder to see what’s near you.
For more information about Leeds Powerchair Football Club, click here.