West Brom and England Powerchair Footballer Chris Gordon visits Community Powerchair Football SessionShrewsbury Town in The Community’s ‘Disability Awareness Week’ kicked off with their Powerchair Football session at Shrewsbury Sports Village on Monday night.
Leading the session was Chris Gordon, who represents West Brom Powerchair Football Club and England as a player, but also looks to get stuck into coaching as much as he can.
Chris has been involved in the sport for 10 years, and does most of his sessions through the Albion Foundation, coaching up to 10 children.
He now leads a team known as West Bromwich Albion Dudley, who compete in regional leagues in the West Midlands.
With sessions put on by the likes of Chris and Shrewsbury Town in The Community, there are less children missing out on taking part in sport. This is something that he takes pride in, having not had the same opportunities when he was younger.
“When I was at school myself, there was nothing like this,” he said. “So for me to get involved in football, I was trying to get involved like any normal kid would.
“Trying to play in goal on my hands and knees, trying to dive around and save it!
“So as soon as I was stuck in a powerchair doing a sport you care about, there’s nothing better.
“It’s great to see local communities and the clubs getting involved to make sure kids have got the opportunity to play.”
Chris now gets to travel the world representing his country and train at some of the top training facilities in the country. He says that having this kind of opportunity can only be good for the publicity of the sport.
“We get to travel all over, train at St Georges Park with the England team, and go to six or seven training camps a year and then build up to the big tournaments.
“The Euros, and The World Cup in Florida is in July so we’re building towards that at the moment.
“It’s great that there’s an end goal now for the sport. Kids can start playing and have got the chance to progress and represent their country at some stage.”
What impressed Chris the most when attending Monday’s session was that all of Shrewsbury Town in The Community’s sessions took place at the same venue, which he feels brings the community closer together.
“It’s great to come down and have a look. There’s three or four different sessions going on here tonight.
“It’s great to see so many sessions on the go, kids with various disabilities having so many opportunities to get involved, and it’s great to see them all together in the same sports hall as well.
“Because a lot of the time, it tends to be secluded.
“You have the wheelchair football session, PAN disability session and they don’t seem to mix.
“It’s great that you get to mix and see all the different sports as well.”
Having seen Powerchair Football progress during his time in the sport, Chris’ next hope is that the sport is seen on an international scale.
“I would love to see it become a Paralympic sport. I think that’s what the sport needs now, just to get the profile that it deserves, really.
“Just to get it out there in the public eye more, so people know about the sport which would help give it that bit of funding.
“Bring a bit of Sport England money into the game which would help people like yourselves put on more sessions and create more opportunities for people to play.”
If you would like to get involved with Powerchair Football, please contact Amy Edwards via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01743 289177 ext 216.
It costs £3.50 per session, and is held every Monday 5-6pm at Shrewsbury Sports Village. Please note we do not provide the Powerchairs for the session, only the attachment for the wheelchairs.