THE Crystal Palace FC Foundation is appealing for help funding motorised wheelchairs for its new powerchair football team.
Powerchair is a fast-moving four-a-side indoor disability football game which has been compared as a wheelchair football equivalent to the creativity-driven futsal.
The Crystal Palace FC Powerchair Football team had its first training session in November last year and played a first friendly against Sevenoaks PFC, at Combe Bank School, in Sevenoaks, on August 21.
When the squad started weekly training sessions at Fusion Waddon Leisure Centre, it was part of Inclusive United, a London disability football initiative funded by the FA, Wembley National Stadium Trust and London Sport.
That funding ran out in June but the foundation and Croydon Sports Development Team, in partnership with the Wheelchair FA, have managed to keep the sessions running.
However, Michael Harrington, of the Crystal Palace FC Foundation, said he was still hoping for more support for the scheme.
He said: "The next stage is we are going to join the league but we do have a few obstacles, the main one being the cost of the chairs.
"We are very grateful to our current partners but the chairs cost £5,000 and we want to make sure the team continues.
"We are based in an area where a lot of the players will have the same financial restraints as any other."
The team lost its first game 3-0 against the experienced Sevenoaks outfit but learned a lot from their first real taste of powerchair football.
Mr McDermott added: "We did our first session with two players from St Giles School in South Croydon, then week two we had three, week three we had four and it has grown to about ten.
"One of the girls said after the game that she felt like she was in another world."
To find out more about powerchair football or if you are interested in supporting the Crystal Palace FC Foundation, contact MichaelHarrington@cpfcfoundation.org