The extended FIPFA family met last week in Singapore to take one of the most important steps for the development of powerchair football in Asia-Pacific-Oceania. With the valuable assistance of the Singapore Disability Sports Council and the Disability Classification and Research Centre, whose staff and volunteers did a remarkable job, our International Federation organized a comprehensive introductory course, intended for players, coaches and referees who want to discover Powerchair Football. The model used in Singapore has been used at other times on other continents.Players and coaches learnt the basics of our sport and discovered its intricacies during workshops led by experienced technicians, referees and players. The Fernando Foundation and the French Federation Handisport have been faithful friends of FIPFA in this kind of adventure and greatly facilitated the material and technical aspects of the workshop.
Among the participating coaches was Matt Cross from Australia, along with numerous Singapore players, coaches and refgerees. They will probably benefit in the near future for the valuable technical advice received. They certainly took great pleasure in practicing the sport, judging by warm and broad smiles on their faces after three intensive days in the gym.
Meanwhile, Chris Mulholland, Head of International Refereeing at FIPFA, was also present in Singapore, to provide extensive training on the specific aspects of refereeing in Powerchair Football. Twenty men in black with local experiences as Futsal referees received training to help them realise their wish to invest now in our game.
By mobilizing substantial resources, Singapore has demonstrated its interest in Powerchair Football and the quality of its work impressed on the Delegation from FIPFA that Powerchair Football and Singapore is a story that deserves to be continued. This is good news for Asia, where Japan will no longer feel alone. Present also in Singapore, President of FIPFA Hervé Delattre did not hide his satisfaction: « We lived in Singapore one week just as strong in Atlanta in 2006 when we created FIPFA. Everyone has done an incredible job for the good of Powerchair Football. We will keep great memories of Singapore! » he said at the traditional ceremony of thanks at the end. Nobody wanted to leave then and this is always a good sign!