How many people are actually playing Powerchair Football across the globe? We asked the question to the Directors of the 10 National Organisations affiliated to FIPFA. Many of them are beginning to differenciate between a sport that practices for competition and a sport that practices for leisure alone. While Belgium, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland have less than 50 players each, other countries like England, France and USA have over 100 players. (To see a breakdown of number of players per country, please see the summary table at the bottom of the post). To this day, France has the accounted for the highest number of players. About 1100 athletes are recorded, 65% of which practices competitive Powerchair Football. It is also notable that even before the international process of regulating this sport, this country was playing “Soccer in Electric Wheelchairs” for more than thirty years!
England and the USA, two countries where Powerchair Football has been recently introduced, are also places where our sport is developing quickly. Japan is also furthering the growth of this sport by developing and training many athletes. Additionally, with approximatively one hundred and fifty players, Canada is diligently working to promote Powerchair Football in a country where our sport was established thirty years ago! Overall, Denmark, with about one hundred players, has the highest recorded ratio of players to total population (100 players for about 5.5 million people).
And what about other countries?
Little by littlle, Powerchair Football is becoming a reality in other countries as well, and is practised (yet unofficially recognized) in several places including South Korea, Honk-Kong, Scotland, Australia, Poland, Brazil and Singapore. The development of a sport like Powerchair Football is a difficult challenge, demanding a long and difficult process, but the rewards are great. This sport offers many individuals the ability to play soccer… the most popular sport in the world!
Number of players per country – Summary table
- Belgium: 36.
- Canada: 160.
- Denmark: 100.
- England: 900. (Competition 250 / Leisure 650)
- France: 1 100. (Competition 660 / Leisure 450)
- Ireland: 35.
- Japan: 550.
- Portugal: 30.
- Switzerland: 20.
- USA: 600.
Total: 3 531 players