Students push to bring 'power soccer' to area - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Students push to bring 'power soccer' to area

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BELLINGHAM, Mass. -

Bellingham High School senior Derek Robbie says wheelchair soccer, or power soccer, is the fasting growing sport in America for disabled people.

And it's something that Robbie and fellow senior Dan Schmith are trying to bring to Southern New England.

"Our hope with this for now is to at least be able to make an impact on the disabled community," Schmith said.

With the help of wellness teacher and Bellingham soccer coach Carlos Costa, Robbie and Schmith are literally building the sport piece-by-piece.

The students have constructed wooden and metal guards that are attached to the front of the wheelchair and used to move the ball. They said they had to build them because purchasing professional guards are too expensive.

The students said they've also placed an order for power soccer balls, which are bigger and lighter, but in the meantime are getting by with basketballs.

"A lot of the projects we have going on in the school are student-initiated, and these two boys have been an example to their classmates," Costa said.

"When people think about wheelchair sports, they think about basketball. So I think you have to open your mind to different sports for disabled people," Robbie said.

The students have contacted the New England Disabled Veterans Association and the New England Revolution to partner up and gain awareness for the sport.

A power soccer game is tentatively scheduled inside the high school gym with the New England Disabled Veterans' Association and the Brockton VA in May.

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