Following activities in Paris during an international youth training clinic last week, European Powerchair Football Association (EPFA) leadership went to Lisbon yesterday to host a demonstration match during the Portuguese national boccia championships.
According to an EPFA statement on Facebook, the demonstration was well received and “And we were told that a lot of new potential players enjoyed it!”
EPFA’s parent organization, Federation Internationale de Powerchair Football Association, became a recognized sport member federation of the International Paralympic Committee in 2009. Since then, the sport has tried to get a spot on the Paralympic. They were rejected for 2016 and 2020. Since the most recent rejection during the first round of the 2020 inclusion bid, the sport’s leadership have taken a number of steps to professionalized their sport administration. This includes international youth camps, visits to other countries to host demonstration events and matches, promoting development in individual countries, working on supporting national leagues and tournaments, and getting increased media coverage. All of these activities go towards strengthening a 2024 bid, where they will likely have to compete against a resurgent 7-a-side football, faltering sailing and other sports with surging participation by athletes with disabilities like Karate.