Wheelchair soccer team needs funding

April 4, 2014
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After a year in action, the Boston Brakers, the city’s first league “power soccer” team, is looking for greater financial support to keeping growing, team Captain Jim Wice told the Gazette.

Power soccer involves the use of electric wheelchairs outfitted with bumpers to direct soccer balls. It is designed exclusively for wheelchair users and “feels a bit like hockey with a goalie, two wings and a center,” Wice previously told the Gazette.

The Brakers held a demonstration and info session at the Tobin Community Center at 1481 Tremont St. on Feb. 1 to recruit new members and volunteers. State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz and City chief of Health and Human Services Felix Arroyo were both in attendance and played the sport.

“I’m so glad the Boston Brakers invited me to come see them in action and to try out power soccer for myself. It was really hard!” Chang-Díaz later told the Gazette. “I have an incredible amount of respect for the team members. Their dedication to growing the team and the sport in Massachusetts is inspiring, the costs are not insignificant, and in addition to practicing their sport they also have to fundraise to buy the specialized chairs and support the team’s travel.”

While power soccer is doing well regionally, with “about 50” members in teams in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts, Wice said the Braker’s core team of eight players needs city and corporate sponsorship to grow further.

“Boston Brakers equipment and skills are improving, but we need the city to acquire or designate an adaptive recreation coordinator,” he added.

Wice wouldn’t even speculate on the league’s longer-term success without greater support, saying, “Growth depends greatly on City and community support.”

The Brakers are expected to partcipate in eight more games during their Spring season. Their schedule is listed online at their Facebook page at tinyurl.com/nn49v7r.

The U.S. Power Soccer Association is the national body that governs the sport of power soccer. The Tobin Community Center will continue to host power soccer practices and games. For more information, see tobincommunitycenter.org.

Local state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz tests her skill at power soccer at the Tobin Community Center Feb. 1. (Photo Courtesy Boston Breakers)

Local state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz tests her skill at power soccer at the Tobin Community Center Feb. 1. (Photo Courtesy Boston Breakers)

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