I used to play powerchair football every week in Lincoln as part of Lincolnshire Powerchair football club. The club consisted of me and about 4 other guys, and we trained every Tuesday evening for 2 hours.
The club had been going for about 5 years, but we seemed to be in a similar position to when we started. That is, training every week but not actually playing other teams.
We’d been trying to find new players for a number of years but without much success. We could have done with a couple more.
We had some sports powerchairs that were on loan to us by Lincolnshire Sport. These chairs are specially designed for playing powerchair football, and they are frighteningly FAST. They have a top speed of about 10 mph and can spin on the spot fast enough to flip you head over heels if you were standing next to it.
The chairs have to have protective bumpers on the front so that we don’t end up breaking our legs every time we play. Training sessions tend to resemble bumper cars more than a football match.
Over the last 5 years, the chairs hadn’t been serviced so they are a bit battered. Some of them kept cutting out when driving or they are not as fast as they used to be. This indicates a problem with their batteries. We needed to buy some new ones but these are quite expensive.
Also, the screws that attach the bumpers to the front had been bent after many years of collisions. So they needed to be replaced too.
We had 7 chairs in total which all probably needed something done to them.
The situation was made more complicated because we didn’t have full control of our bank account.
The original account was in the name of the 2 people that created it. But they are no longer involved with the club so we tried to transfer the bank account to the names of our treasurers. This took longer than anticipated.
It was hard because we can’t do anything with the bank account without the signatures of the 2 original people– and nobody knew who one of them was. Plus the bank account seemed to have more security measures than Fort Knox so getting access to it was nigh on impossible. But we did eventually manage to get into it.
In 2019 we decided to close the club For a variety of reasons, like the chairs being unusable, the fact we had no coach, and that we could not attract new players. Personally, I didn’t find it fun anymore because it was like We were just left to run the club on our own without any help from the Lincolnshire FA or anyone else.
I mean, it would have helped if we had access to the bank account from the start at least. That just would have made sense. But there we go.
Hopefully, powerchair football will happen again in Lincolnshire but without following the same fate as this club did.