I'm humbled to be selected on the Australian Powerchair Football team to compete in Brazil in 2014. I consider the Green and Gold jersey the greatest privilege one can achieve in sport.
There is currently no funding available in Australia for Powerchair Football. I'm looking for help in raising funds for myself and a carer to travel with me, any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
If you would like to find out more about me or the sport I've provided additional information below.
A bit about me:-
My name is Josh; I'm 21 years old and have Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. I'm studying IT at university, am passionate about sport and volunteer as a mentor at university and community organisations, helping others achieve their goals.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a degenerative muscle disease. This means I am getting weaker over time. I used to be able to walk but, as I got older, it became too difficult. Consequently, I started using a wheelchair for long distances from around 9 years of age. I relied on the wheelchair more and more as I grew up. At age 13 I began using an electric wheelchair full-time.
When I was younger and could still walk, I loved playing soccer and kicking a soccer ball around. I would play goalie at school, it didn't need as much running around. I wanted to play on the weekend but was unable to keep up with the other kids. As it got harder to walk the joy of playing sport became more and more unlikely.
In 2000, I went to the Paralympics in Sydney, and watched athletes in wheelchairs competing I thought "Maybe I could get into the Paralympics". I couldn't see anyone using an Electric Wheelchair though.
One day by chance whilst buzzing around in my chair someone that played competitive sport in an Electric Wheelchair approached me and they suggested I should try it. I started by playing electric wheelchair sport, and it was the most fun I had ever had, it's all I have wanted to do ever since.
In 2011, Powerchair Football, an electric wheelchair version of field soccer, that had been in existence since the late 1970's in Europe was introduced to Australia. I attended a development workshop in Sydney to learn the sport. The World Cup was in Paris that same year, but I was unable to try out due to financial restrictions. I committed every spare moment developing my skills and subsequently represented my state at 3 national competitions for Powerchair Football.
January 2013 was a pinnacle moment in my sporting journey. I was selected to play for Australia against Japan. The competition was held at the Sydney Olympic Stadium. I remembered sitting in the stadium some thirteen years early watching the Paralympics. It was hard to believe that I was there, Power chair Football is a dream come true for me.
About the Competition:-
Australia has received perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to compete at the COPA Americas, an international competition in Powerchair Football in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in May 2014. Powerchair Football is one of the fastest growing sports for electric wheelchair users in the world today. Powerchair Football is a recognized international sport for athletes who use an electric wheelchair for daily mobility. The sport is challenging, fast and dynamic with strict qualifying standards, with the ultimate aim of becoming a Paralympic sport.
Eight athletes have been selected to represent Australia at the COPA Americas 2014 Rio de Janeiro
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