This week the curtain raised for the start of Disability Pride Month – and it has been a busy time for BAFA’s Commission for Wheelchair American Football, Gee Griffiths culminating in an invitation to speak at the Disability Expo at London’s Excel Arena on Friday.
With the popularity of Wheelchair Football on the rise, Gee looks back at milestones in the development of the sport in the UK over the past 12 months.
“The last year has been a very productive time for us – we have visited universities across the country holding introductory sessions and attended a multitude of disability awareness session where have had the opportunity to introduce Wheelchair Football to people with various disabilities – from partially sighted to limb amputation.
“A multi-disability sports club in Birmingham has become the first in the UK to use wheelchair football as one of the range of sports offered. And at the NFL London Games last October, I got to speak to numerous Wheelchair users who were keen to explore opportunities to participate in their favourite sport.
“At the Excel Arena this week I sat on a panel with various speakers who work and live with disabilities. The interest in this is worldwide. I have had conversations and contact with individuals from Australia and Uganda – and more recently from the head of the NFL in Germany who would like to include Wheelchair Football in events surrounding the next games in Munich.”
“The next 12 months will see us attending lots more disability events – introducing the sport more people and visiting more sports clubs with view to establishing more teams.
We have built links with the YMCA’s Disability Sports Coach who want to bring a form of American Football into their clubs nationwide and will be working with a forces veterans charity Sporting Forces to assist the development of a veterans’ team in support of IFAF’s ambition to get the sport introduced at the Invictus Games.”
Gee is asking any clubs would like to take part and set up teams, to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org