Power soccer (or powerchair football), the first competitive team sport for users of motorized wheelchairs, is receiving increased attention among people with disabilities, healthcare professionals, and academics. The present study provides a qualitative analysis of the experiences of 34 American power soccer athletes. Participant observation and in-depth interviews with 11 female and 23 male athletes were conducted between 2007 and 2013. Results indicate that involvement in power soccer provides participants with an increased sense of empowerment, acquisition of social capital, and psychosocial benefits, including a deep satisfaction of the desire to participate in competitive sports and an opportunity to be independent. Implications of these findings for improving the quality of life of people with physical disabilities and for future research are discussed.
Jeffress is with the Dept. of Literary, Cultural and Communication Studies, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Brown is with the School of Communication and the Arts, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.