On the first weekend of October 2022, Power Soccer PDX was able to travel to Berkeley California to scrimmage the Borp Shockers and Bombers. It was an exciting, invaluable experience for everyone that went and was instrumental in us making the decision to start a competitive team. Special thanks to Borp and Adaptive Sports Northwest for the opportunity. We now have the Power Soccer PDX recreational team and our competitive team Rose City Renegades.
Lets see what the Renegades themselves have to say about the trip:
While I’ve been fortunate enough to travel with family over the years, this was the first trip I’ve taken with a number of different wheelchairs and equipment. I’ll tell you, traveling with a team worth of wheelchairs adds a whole additional layer of complexity! Sitting in my wheelchair for the 10 hour drive was the easy part! The challenges were little things that don’t necessarily show up on a family trip. Reconfiguring the trailer to have hold downs for that many wheelchairs, to make sure everybody had the equipment they needed access to on the road. Not to mention, finding “safe” parking in the Bay Area for a 24 foot trailer. I recently heard something that would sum up this experience very well “Nothing in life is hard, but rather unfamiliar” This team and our volunteers were able to tackle situations that arose without issue and make this trip very successful. A big thank you to coach Ryan, the volunteers and ASNW!
Our team trip to Berkeley was the first sporting event that I have been a part of as an athlete. I have been on sports teams for years but have never been able to play in games or scrimmages as I was the only person in a wheelchair on my team. I had so much fun learning new drills and playing with new people.
I had the opportunity to travel to Berkeley California with my power soccer team, Rose City Renegades. I was nervous at the beginning because it was my first time traveling further than a couple cities away from my house here in Oregon. but in the end it was the best experience in my life. In addition when I got to the practice location, I met a lot of players with different disabilities. For example, Ian a power soccer athlete from Berkeley California who has played for sixteen years now. I learned a lot from him which was the best experience from the whole trip..I learned so many things to change in my playing style that I have incorporated lately. Lastly I just want to say I hope we travel again I really loved it plus, Power Soccer is my favorite activity I do.
The first trip as a team was a fantastic experience. We learned we can do anything as long as we work as a team. Teamwork is the key for a disabled Soccer team to travel. Many of our athletes never thought it was possible to be able to travel. So they have never gone on a trip that far from home. I watched the confidence grow in each athlete as the success of this trip progressed. As the assistant coach, participating in another team’s practice was invaluable and an incredible learning experience. We’ve included many of the drills in our own program. Sped up our training and included a feedback circle. Playing power soccer games against an experienced power soccer team was an incredibly memorable intro to team competition. It demonstrated how important teammates are to the success of the team and how we depend on each teammate. With help from our coach, local organization, the local community, volunteers, teammates and sponsors I know we can have great success and bring Power Soccer pride to Portland.
It’s always interesting to travel to another place, and experience how other teams operate, and play the game. There are a lot of concepts the handbooks don’t really cover, and being able to see as many different people’s interactions as possible, adds to the learning experience! Hopefully we get to play the Berkeley team again soon, or maybe they’ll come visit Portland!
I had the chance to have a great experience traveling to Berkeley California. It was my very first time traveling outside of Oregon which was very cool to me . I was very nervous at beginning only because I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle the 10 hour drive but It was like a walk through the park. I also liked it because the coach in California showed me how to hit the ball a little harder with the guard. I also got to meet new players that play power soccer like me. One thing that could of been better more options for power outlets for my ventilator machine. But I enjoyed every moment of my Berkeley California road trip.
This trip for me was many years in the making! Thanks to our parent organization Adaptive Sports Northwest, we finally had the opportunity as a team to travel together, play and scrimmage another team. When I started this program back in 2016 I had always dreamt as a coach the ability to provide the athletes the same experiences traveling and playing with a power soccer team. For many years now our athletes have only been able to play against each other and haven’t had the opportunity to play against other teams as the closest teams are many hours away.
For many of these athletes this was their first time traveling out of state let alone traveling with their teammates. This trip gave each athlete the skills and confidence knowing that they can and should travel even if it puts them outside of their normal comfort zone.
There’s just a special bond that takes place when a group of individuals with various disabilities and a passion for power soccer travel together. They gain so many life lessons from helping each other while navigating the challenges of travel and communication on and off the court.
At the teams first dinner together after a full day of practice you could just see through their excitement and enthusiasm discussing the day’s practice that they finally understood what I’ve been describing to them for years. That power soccer will provide lifelong friendships, learning and confidence that having a disability is not an excuse for not achieving their goals.
As you can tell by the players’ reactions, I believe we certainly achieved our original goal of “testing the waters” when it comes to travel as well as competing as a team. This is a group of very resilient and passionate athletes! With the support of their families, community, volunteers and sponsors, I believe they will have many more successful trips in the future! We are extremely excited for the future! Thanks again to our entourage that made this inaugural trip possible, you really are making dreams come true!
If you would like to check out some more of the action from Berkeley you can visit our YouTube Channel
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Your generosity and support is greatly appreciated!