Local Power Chair Soccer Team

When you think of soccer, thoughts usually include kicking, running and jumping. But some local players who can't do those things have found a way around them. Player Thomas Griffin, though wheelchair bound, does his best impersonation of Mia Hamm as he puts the ball in the goal at the Islands YMCA. He and his friends found power soccer thanks to a visit from Jerry Frick. Before he moved to Atlanta, Frick found the sport while living on the West Coast.

"It's basically four on four," he explained. "Everybody in power chairs trying to score on each other with 25-foot goals and 18-inch sized balls. From five years up, they can start learning and playing the sport and playing on a team. It's an incredible feeling to have the spirit of a team and play competitive sports."

Organizers have enough for one local team right now, the 24 Volts. Now they hope for more.

"If you think about what your kids do, whether they're in a wheelchair or not, they're participating in soccer, or gymnastics, or basketball," said team organizer Julie Hunt. "Kids in wheelchairs are limited, so something like this is essential so they can have team competition and they can learn sportsmanship."

"Some of these kids are just sitting at home and that's not fun, so it's the chance to get out and meet some people," said player Eric Dornan.

If you'd like more information about power chair soccer, you can call 898-1774.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com