Powerchair football team to raise their game with fast new kit

The Tayside Dynamos team
The Tayside Dynamos team
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IT’S pretty fast and it’s about to get more furious thanks to a generous donation that will boost the sport in Scotland.

Powerchair football has become increasingly popular amongst wheelchair users in recent years and is now to be taken to the next level by one team after Tayside Dynamos received three new specially built chairs designed for some tough play on the pitch.

Eythan Galloway, 10, one of the Tayside Dynamo players

Eythan Galloway, 10, one of the Tayside Dynamo players

The team has played at a maximum of 6km and hour but, thanks to the donation from National children’s charity The Boparan Charitable Trust, the pace will be raised to 10km an hour.

Ryan Galloway, secretary of the club, said the young players had been “blown away” by their new pieces of kit.

He said it will now allow the 10-strong team to compete more fully with other sides as their own wheelchairs had been unable to perform at higher speeds.

Mr Galloway said: “It would have been like asking David Beckham to play in his slippers. The new chairs are just fantastic and performance is incredible. At one point when we were practising on Saturday, one of the chairs wheelied, but we’ll just have to get used to the new kit.

We have got some real potential stars on the team and everyone -including the parents - put their heart and soul into the club

Ryan Galloway, secretary of Tayside Dynamos

“Getting the new chairs has been great for the kids. We have got some real potential stars on the team and everyone -including the parents - put their heart and soul into the club.”

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Tayside Dynamos was set up three-and-a-half years ago by parents will the help of Dundee City Council.

Last year, the club won the Scottish National League and is working with the Scottish Football Association to develop a national side.

Mr Galloway’s own son Eythan, who has spinal muscular atrophy and has been in a wheelchair since he was two, is one of the players on the team.

“He is like any other boy, he absolutely loves his football. If he is not watching it, he is playing it.

“I wish on the very first day that we set up the club that we had taken a video. All the kids were shy, they didn’t speak and they were lacking in confidence.

“Now if you could see them, everyone is so lively, their confidence is so high and they have a lot of fun.

“We work with people like Occupational Therapists and physiotherapists and they have been absolutely astounded by the change.

“The team has got real focus, they have got something to look forward to and they love competing.”

Mr Galloway said the rules for powerchair football were much the same as football, but that the teams were made up of four players including a goalkeeper.

There are also rules about how close a defender can get to someone on the attack, to allow for the game to flow.

While all the players are under 18 he appealed for anyone in a Powerchair to get in touch with the club to give the sport a go. The new chairs will be available for use by any member, he said.

Mrs Baljinder Boparan, trustee for the Boparan Charitable Trust, said “We are delighted to be able to support the Dynamos with these new chairs and look forward to watching their new season unfold, giving freedom and sporting independence to young people”

The trust is a national children’s charity which helps those with disabilities, life limiting conditions or those in extreme poverty.

Families and organisations in need of assistance can visit www.theboparancharitabletrust.com for more information.