Josh – Raising the profile of power wheelchair sports
Josh and his Queensland teammate Bryce Castles represented the Australian power chair football team in Rio, competing in the 2014 Copa Americas tournament, run by the Powerchair Football Confederation of the Americas (PFCA). They played against the USA (the world’s number one team at the time), Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Australia made the grand final, sadly losing to USA. What an amazing achievement for Josh and Bryce! Josh wants to raise awareness of his sport, so he answered some questions about his journey to Rio.
How did you first get involved with power wheelchair sports?
I found out about it by chance through a stranger while on holidays, that’s why I think it’s so important to keep promoting the sport.
When did you start playing power wheelchair sports?
I first started playing wheelchairs sports when I was 9 years old. The first national power wheelchair sport I ever competed in was two years later in the National Electric Wheelchair Sports (NEWS) competition in 2004. I started playing power soccer in 2011 at a development workshop in Sydney and competed at the power soccer Nationals that same year. My first international competition for power soccer was at the APO Cup in January 2013.
In recent years, sporting highlights for Josh have included the following:
Queensland Cyclones (Silver 3 years in a row) Queensland Gladiators (Balloon Soccer Champions) (Hockey Champions) (Rugby League Champions).
Represented Australia Hockey World Cup, APO Cup Power Soccer, Copa America Cup, Ditch Cup.
Playing power soccer for Australia in Brazil was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was great to be part of the Poweroos and play along side Chris Suffield (Captain), Jacob Cross, Chris TurnBull, Moustafa Ardati and Bryce Castles (Queensland Teammate) and coached by Peter Turnbull.
What do you like most about power wheelchair sports?
Power wheelchair sports has given me the opportunity to play for my state and my country. It shows that I am still able to play sports even though I am in a wheelchair and it is a lot of fun to play alongside my friends and team mates.
My future goal in power soccer is to represent Australia in the World Cup in 2015 and beat the USA. I Also really want to win the national competition and beat NSW to bring the trophy back home to Queensland. I also want to continue to grow and expand the sport in Queensland so that more people get the opportunity to play.