History of Powerchair Football
Powerchair Football has existed since the 1970s in some form or another. In 1978 France created what was termed 'Football in Electric wheelchairs' for people with disabilities. A year later Canada started to develop a sport called 'Power Soccer'.
In the 1980's then you had Canada, the United States and Japan playing Power Soccer and Wheelchair Football being played in France, Belgium, Portugal and Switzerland From 1980 to 2005 you had a span of 25 years were different styles were being played around the world without countries really conversing about it and rules were being adapted to suit their own requirements, or in some countries, no real rules at all. Finally in 2005 at the initiative of France representatives of the United States, Canada, Japan, England and Portugal met in Paris to discuss making this sport international.
A further meeting took place in Portugal to finalise the international set of rules and this led to the official creation of Powerchair Football and the world governing body Federation Internationale De Football Association ( FIPFA)
The Football Association of Ireland has been a long standing partner of Powerchair Football and the AIPF for many years under its Football For All Program. It got involved around 2006 helping to develop clubs and run competition days and fun events. In 2008 the FAI brought over a delegation from the Wheelchair Football Association (WFA) in England to demonstrate the sport and from this the AIPF was established to govern the sport in Ireland and organise regular leagues and competitions. It works closely alongside the AIPF and in July 2014 the AIPF and FAI hosted the inaugural European Nations Cup in Limerick which was a great success.
Youth workers from Muscular Dystrophy Ireland ( MDI) were the first to start introducing Powerchair Football to Ireland in 2003. MDI members make up a large proportion of players playing the game in Ireland with their clubs and many have gone on to represent Ireland at international tournaments and development events. AIPF and MDI have a strong and healthy partnership working and supporting each other.