Wheelchairs, Soccer Balls and Blacktop

What do get when you combine wheelchairs, a soccer ball, and blacktop?  A wicked game of fútbol, that’s what!  Last week we visited an orphanage that serves special needs children.  The majority have cerebral palsy and require the use of wheelchairs, but that doesn’t stand in the way of having fun.  Our family of six along with 10 other volunteers each pushed one wheelchair down to the park.  It wasn’t long before a soccer game got underway.

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Let the games begin!

When we first heard that the kids liked to play soccer, we weren’t sure exactly how it would work.  Instead of a field, we used a basketball court, which allowed easy movement for the wheelchairs.  Each volunteer paired up with with one of the kids.  Once the ball was dropped into center court, mayhem ensued.  The court was a blur of wheels and running feet as each volunteer scrambled to kick the ball with the footrests of the wheelchair they were steering.  Often times this resulted in the ball rolling beneath the chair (which is a perfect way to guard the ball from the other team, by the way), and would receive a kick from the volunteer once it appeared out the back side.

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Wheelchairs and soccer balls. This is bound to be the result of one of our future games.

Despite my slick moves and aggressive play, my team still managed to lose 0-3.  I’m pretty sure there was a gradual slope which always kept the ball rolling toward our goal…  The team captain of the opposing team is a real soccer fanatic, so he was ecstatic with the win.  That made it almost worth the humiliating defeat.  Ah well, since the real goal was making memories and having fun, I’m willing to swallow my pride.  That being said, I’m already plotting my strategy for this week’s game…

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A little post-game refreshment. So tasty!

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