By: Sun Devil Power Soccer Club Team Captain Gabe Trujillo
You won't see us playing in sold-out arenas. When we score incredible goals, we aren't surrounded by thousands of screaming fans. Our star athletes aren't compensated with large, seven-figure contracts. Those who play power soccer are truly involved simply because of their love of sports.
For those who aren't aware of power soccer, the sport is designed for athletes with disabilities who use electric wheelchairs. Power soccer is played on a regulation basketball court with four players on each team on the court. The goal is simple; through dribbling and passing, score as many goals as you can. Much of the attributes of power soccer are mimicked from its able-bodied counterpart. You'll find a goal box with a goalie, corner kicks and even yellow and red cards. Throughout the years, power soccer has significantly evolved into a fast-paced, exciting sport to watch and play.
While many outside of the world of disability have yet to experience the sport, power soccer is one of the fastest-growing adaptive sports in the world. Not only does the U.S. have it's own power soccer league, there are teams across the globe and it's giving people with disabilities a true chance to become competitive athletes once again or for the very first time. Because of its incredible growth around the globe, a World Cup tournament has been created and the U.S. Team has won the Gold in the first two events in Japan and France. It is truly remarkable just how far the sport has grown and how much it can still be developed.
Power soccer has been around for many years, and I believe it's time for this sport to make it to the mainstream. Adaptive sports are an incredible experience, not just for the athletes, but for the fans as well. If people found out just how amazing power soccer really is, I think this sport will see exponential growth.
So this is where you come in.
I have started the hashtag campaign, #GetPowerSoccerOnESPN to spur awareness and see if we can get mainstream coverage of a power soccer event. Online media is an incredible tool and I believe this campaign can help us get noticed. Using the hashtag on your favorite social networks, talk about why you think we need to get power soccer on ESPN and share images and videos of power soccer events in your towns.
The power soccer community is an incredible one, and we have the power to show everyone what they're missing. Of course, none of this will work without your support. Please encourage everyone you know to utilize the #GetPowerSoccerOnESPN hashtag as often as possible. Hopefully if we garner enough support, we can get the attention of ESPN. Our main goal is to see if we can get the network to cover our PowerBlast Tournament in Tempe Feb. 28 - March 2, or our National USPSA Premier Cup Championship Tournament in Mesa, AZ this June.
For now, please join our campaign and help us give the sport the notoriety it deserves.