The National Wheelchair Football Tournament is coming to Hillsborough on Friday

The National Wheelchair Football Tournament is coming to Hillsborough on Friday

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL – The best wheelchair football players in the country are coming to Hillsborough County this week as the Hillsborough County Buccaneers wheelchair football team hosts the 26th-28th Friday through Sunday. to the Move United USA Wheelchair Soccer League tournament until August.

In addition to the Hillsborough Buccaneers, there are seven other wheelchair teams competing, including the Arizona Cardinals, Birmingham Hammers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints.

All games will be played in the West Hall of the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin St., Tampa.

Find out what’s happening in Tampawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

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The tournament competition starts on Friday at 14:30. See the article : First Look: The ‘Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ Bring ‘New Hope’ and ‘New Determination’. On Saturday, the games are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. sunday

Tampa Bay Buccaneers alumnus Dexter Jackson and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders will welcome the teams at a Welcome Dinner on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and the champion will be crowned on Sunday afternoon during the final game at 1:30 p.m.

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The Hillsborough Buccaneers play Chicago at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Birmingham at 11 a. To see also : Howie Mandel Praises AGT’s ‘Composed’ Maddie Baez Amid Her ‘Cheerleader’ Dad’s Absence From Live Performances.m., Saturday and Arizona at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday’s matches will be determined based on the results of Friday’s and Saturday’s games.

This is the second tournament of the 2022 season, the second full season of the US Wheelchair Soccer League. Two weeks ago, the Green Bay Packers wheelchair football team defeated L.A. in a tournament held in Chicago. Rams wheelchair football team.

However, this will be the first time for the Hillsborough County Buccaneers wheelchair football team to host the national tournament.

Although Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation has long had an active adaptive sports program that includes wheelchair basketball, track and field, archery and other sports for people with disabilities, with wheelchair soccer just last year.

In 2021. Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation held tryouts for a wheelchair soccer team with the goal of participating in the 2019 Move United USA Wheelchair Soccer League.

Move United, based in Rockville, Maryland, began offering wheelchair soccer in 1924. As of 2020, more than 700 athletes and coaches have participated in US Wheelchair Football League programs with support from the National Football League and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which focuses on helping veterans.

The US Wheelchair Soccer League consists of 11 teams spanning from eastern California to Hillsborough County, which has the only team in Florida.

In addition to supporting competitive teams in the USAWFL, the NFL and BWF partnership will fund coaching education and learn-to-play clinics as part of the league’s Salute to Service initiative.

In the backyard of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, head coach of the Hillsborough Bucs’ wheelchair football team, Wayne Bozeman, said it seemed like a no-brainer to form a wheelchair football team and the team’s name was a foregone conclusion.

The Tampa Bay Bucs have embraced their namesake, led by Jackson. The Tampa Bay Bucs Super Bowl XXXVII Most Valuable Player is an unofficial advisor, giving the team tips and pep talks.

Meanwhile, the Bucs’ owners, the Glazer family, supplied the team with uniforms, practice pants and T-shirts, helmets, footballs, duffel bags, water bottles and other items.

In addition to recreational therapist Bozeman, the team is coached by Rick Riessle and Greg Lewis-Seals.

“Everybody can play soccer,” he said. “Just because you’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you can’t play football. They can do a lot more than people think they can.”

Matt Gardner and Shelton Mobley are team captains.

Gardner said he was hooked as soon as he joined the practice squad last year.

“From that moment on, I was hungry to compete in this league,” Gardner said. “I’ve always loved the game of soccer, but I’ve never had the chance to compete in a league because I was born paralyzed without the use of my legs.”

Gardner grew up in Pittsburgh, where he said he was obsessed with the Steelers.

“Watching the Steelers game was my religion,” he said. But he was equally devoted to his high school football team, attending every game and cheering on his friends.

“Watching it on Friday nights, all I wanted was a chance to put on a helmet and play a game,” he said. “This league gives me that opportunity that I don’t take for granted.”

“After I lost my leg, I met a guy who invited me to play basketball,” Mobley said. “I’ve been involved in the sport ever since. I’ve seen how it’s changed so many people’s lives, helped them get out of depression and feel normal. When you get with these guys, everything’s normal. We’re like family.

“It has a lot of health benefits,” said team member Adryan Powell of Brandon, who was an avid soccer player before the injury. Now, in addition to playing soccer, he also plays on the adaptive basketball team. “Then there’s just camaraderie, just being social. A lot of people in wheelchairs are very isolated. Being able to get out and see other disabled people competing really does a lot for your mental health.”

Bozeman said the biggest obstacle to playing football isn’t their disability; this is the price of a sports wheelchair.

“These guys are having a hard time,” he said. “These chairs cost $4,000 to $7,000, just for a sports chair to play in.”

However, through community fundraisers, sponsorships, support from the Bucs and the NFL’s Salute to Service initiative, the county has been able to ensure that all team members have specially designed sports chairs.

The chairs are built extra strong to withstand even heavy gaming. Watching the team at Lesley “Les” Miller Jr. on Sligh Avenue in Tampa. Practiced on the hard wood floor at All People’s Community Park and Life Center, it’s clear why.

This sport is not for the faint of heart. Wheelchair soccer is a game of speed, power, skill and strategy where wheelchair collisions and spills are inevitable.

That’s one thing Ryan “Bully” Lindstrom loves about the game. Since all the team members are disabled, they don’t go easy on each other.

“I’m really looking forward to another season in the USAWFL,” said the retired U.S. Navy veteran. “Playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a second year is an honor and incredibly exciting. I look forward to seeing the competition step up in year two and making even more new lifelong friendships along the way.”

While the majority of team members are from Hillsborough County, there are those who travel from out of county, even out of state, to play.

Team member Rick Evans, a veteran and married father of two, will travel from Savannah, Georgia to Tampa to attend.

For him, playing wheelchair soccer is a state of mind and the reward is worth the gas money.

Patting the arms of his wheelchair, Evans said, “These things give you the freedom to do anything. That’s what we do here. We can do anything we set our minds to. That’s what it’s all about.”

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Why does disability affect participation in sport?

Typical obstacles for people with disabilities to participate in sports are people with disabilities not knowing how to adequately include them in the team; lack of opportunities and programs for training and competitions; too few accessible facilities due to physical barriers; and limited. Read also : AT&T Atlanta Falcons training camp practice dates announced

What are 3 factors that affect participation in sports? This review found that five main factors mediate children’s sport participation: (1) perceived competence; (2) fun and enjoyment; (3) parents; (4) learning new skills; and (5) friends and peers.

How does disability affect exercise?

Statistics show that people with disabilities are much less likely to regularly participate in sports or physical activity than their non-disabled peers. But people with disabilities have so much to gain from regular physical activity.

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How do wheelchair people swim?

Swimming with any physical disability or disability can be achieved with equipment designed for each person’s limitations. A person who is paralyzed can benefit from something as simple as a pool lift, which allows the disabled person to be attached to a seat and hydraulically raise or lower the pool.

What about disabled swimming? 7 benefits of swimming for people with disabilities

  • Relieves pressure on joints and muscles. …
  • Builds muscle strength. …
  • Improves heart health. …
  • Improves mental health. …
  • Affects transfer skills. …
  • Improves social well-being. …
  • Supports independence. …
  • All the benefits of swimming with an accessible vehicle.

Does swimming help with mobility?

Unlike gym machines that tend to isolate one part of the body at a time (like the bicep curl machine), swimming puts the body through a wide range of motion, which helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible.

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