Jimbo’s fund gives power boost to disabled footballers in Leeds

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A football club for severely disabled wheelchair users is celebrating a much needed donation of £18,000, to buy four new powerchairs.

The Leeds Powerchair Football Club was set up two years ago to enable players with severe disabilities such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and brittle bones, to play the sport.

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The game uses specialised football powerchairs, each costing £4,500, which move up to 10k per hour.

Now Jimbo’s Fund, the charity set up from the estate of the late millionaire Segway boss Jimi Heselden, has stopped in with the generous grant.

Helen Chappell, the chairwoman of Leeds Powerchair Football Club, said: “The grant will enable us to go from strength to strength. We are extremely grateful to Jimbo’s Fund as it will mean more players from across the Leeds area can play football.

“The age range is all ages, our youngest is eight years old up to adults I’m 40 and play in a team but I’m hoping to get more adults involved this year.

“The main disabilities that play are muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones) but anyone with disabilities that can operate a powerchair can play.”

The club trains every Saturday morning from 10am to 12pm at Temple Moor High School in Leeds. They play in a Yorkshire league which is held four times a year at the Edge Sports Centre at Leeds University.

Ms Chappell added: “We are also entering two teams into the North East League and will play the fixtures in the Newcastle and Middlesbrough area from November.”

The rules are based on normal football with a few exceptions. It is played on an indoor basketball court with a larger ball and four players on a side. A bumper is attached to the front to hit the ball.

The club is planning to buy a vehicle to transport the wheelchairs as they have to rely on parents, carers and volunteers.

For more details for new players or sponsorship contact Helen on chappellh@hotmail.com.

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