Crystal Palace stars Barry Bannan and Aaron Wilbraham have been experiencing football sessions with a difference alongside young wheelchair users.
The duo took part in a series of power chair football lessons at Waddon Leisure Centre, in Purley Way, Croydon, as part of the south London club’s ongoing work in the local community.
Power chair football is an indoor four versus four game, played with two goals and a larger size nine football.
Wheelchair FA Development Officer Adam McEvoy was also in attendance at the event on Wednesday 26th March to lend some support to the players and coaches from Crystal Palace Football Club.
The sessions have been put on as part of a collaboration between Crystal Palace FC Foundation, Croydon Sports Development, Surrey County Football Association and Fusion, who have worked together to support the participants in experiencing this form of football for the first time in Croydon.
In addition, The Wheelchair Football Association, which was formed in 2005 to govern the sport of power chair football in England, have supported the sessions with seven specialised power chairs and advice from Adam each week.
The sessions are funded by The Football Association and the Wembley Stadium Trust through the “Inclusive United” partnership between all of London’s professional football clubs.
Palace players Bannan and Wilbraham had never seen this form of the game and were all too keen to give it a go themselves.
Michael Harrington, disability sports lead officer for the Crystal Palace FC Foundation, said: “Having both players take part next to the local young people was an exciting experience for the participants.”
If you are interested in attending the sessions please email Michael on firstname.lastname@example.org