Albion will recognise the inspirational contribution of its all-conquering powerchair team when the club marks Foundation Day on Saturday, April 9.
The fixture against Stoke City is the annual showpiece event for the club’s official charity, The Albion Foundation, which this year hopes to raise funds to “Power the Powerchairs”.
The Foundation Day will also be a part of the first ever Week of Action by the English Football League (EFL). Using the power of football, EFL clubs and Club Community Organisations (CCOs) collectively invest in their communities every year, engaging with some of the most vulnerable members of society.
Since its inaugural season in 2006, the club’s powerchair programme has grown from four players to more than 30, claiming successive National League titles in 2018, 2019 and 2020, as well as two FA Disability Cups, two Wheelchair Football Association Cups, a third-place finish in the 2013 Champions League and a second-place finish in the 2016 Champions League.
- Donate to Power the Powerchairs by clicking here.
- Text TAF 5, 10, 15 or 20 to 70470. e.g. TEXT TAF 5 to 70470 to donate £5.
It is now the largest and most successful powerchair programme in the country and was the first to establish a post-16 academy. The club now boasts 35 players, aged 10-38, playing in six teams.
The Albion Foundation hopes to grow its powerchair programme to ensure everyone who wants to play the sport has the opportunity to do so.
A specialist powerchair costs £7,500 each and is often the biggest challenge new players face when they take up the sport.
This Foundation Day please help us “Power the Powerchairs” by texting TAF and 5, 10, 15 or 20 to 70470 to donate £5, £10, £15 or £20. Alternatively, donate at JustGiving or via bucket collections around The Hawthorns on Saturday.
Albion Foundation Staff and powerchair players will be around the ground on Saturday before the game with donation buckets and contactless terminals to help raise funds to help power the powerchairs.
At the interval, our league and cup winners will take on a lap of honour to celebrate their successes with fans. “Blind Dave” Heeley will lead on the call to arms, as we ask all fans to take out their phones and kindly make a donation to help purchase new powerchairs.
All matchday shirts from the fixture will be signed and auctioned off, with the auction going live on Sunday morning.
Powerchair Manager, Paul Hunt, said: “The club’s Powerchair team has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years and is now very successful at the elite level – but it is important to remember the huge benefits the programme has on the mental health and wellbeing of all participants.
“Powerchair football can be costly as our players cannot just pop down to their local park and put jumpers down for goal posts. It requires specialist equipment that is out of reach for many families. Every training session also requires meticulous planning and the dedication of a hardworking support team.”