Rebecca Herbert: Getting round South London as a wheelchair user

World Cup fever has taken over the summer, but have you been inspired to take up the sport?

Rebecca Herbert

Powerchair football is for anyone who uses a powered wheelchair or has limited movement in a manual wheelchair.

The game is played using a larger football and each team is made up of four players with four subs.

Push-ins are used instead of throw-ins and only two players from the defending team may enter the penalty area at any one time.

A match is 40 minutes long and played on an indoor five-a-side pitch or gymnasium. The Wheelchair Football Association (WFA) was formed in 2005 to govern Powerchair Football in England.

It also provides opportunities for people with a physical impairment to access the sport. The FA Disability Cup is in its third year and is the largest of its kind in this country.

The latest competition took place on Saturday, June 16 at St George’s Park with West Bromwich Albion winning 1-0 over Aspire.

Led by captain and coach Chris Gordon, the Baggies have enjoyed a perfect season after adding the cup to their WFA National Premiership and West Midlands Regional League titles.

The FA’s National Participation Manager, Phil Heap, said: “The FA Disability Cup is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and recognise the grassroots of the disability game.”

Palace for Life Foundation has been working with the South London community for more than 25 years.

It uses football to change the lives of young people, particularly the most hard to reach and hard to help.

Working with more than 13,000 people each year, they offer free sessions in sport and other activities.

Crystal Palace Powerchair Football Club train every Wednesday at Waddon Leisure Centre from 6pm-7.30pm (during school term time only).

There are currently nine players who range in age from eight to 52.

Zahid Hanif, father of one of the players, said: “Just because a child is in a wheelchair, it should not mean that they are not able to be involved in sport.”

Wheelchair-friendly Restaurants and theatres

Spamilton: An American Parody (until September 8)
Menier Chocolate Factory A musical parody of the Broadway hit Hamilton. 020 7378 1713 53 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU

A Monster Calls (until August 25)
The Old Vic A powerful new adaptation of Patrick Ness’s piercing novel. 0844 871 7628 The Old Vic, The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8NB

Ground Floor, 2 Bromley Road, Beckenham, Bromley, BR3 5JE
The modern Italian restaurant is very spacious and easy to move around in a wheelchair. It has a large adapted toilet.

Tiger Tiger
16 High Street, Croydon, Surrey CR0 1GT The restaurant/club is a big venue which caters for an evening meal or crazy night out.

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