My name is Gianluca Luisi I am 25 years old and I live with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. I have been playing Powerchair Football for over 11 years and I currently play for Muscle Warriors. Muscle Warriors is one of four teams that form the Aspire Powerchair Sports Club; the others being Aspire PFC, Evergreen and the Aspire Lions. In my years playing Powerchair Football, I have competed in and won the WFA Premiership, Championship and the WFA Cup. The sport has also taken me to France and Denmark for various tournaments and Powerchair Football events.

I was born and raised in North London; my parents are Italian so how could I not like football!? My love for football really developed after seeing Fabio Cannavaro lift the Fifa World Cup in 2006. At the age of four I attended my first football match at White Hart Lane - Tottenham v Newcastle - yes, I’m a Spurs fan! At that age, I always dreamt it could be me out on that pitch one day.

I believed this dream, and despite my disability rendering me physically weaker than my peers at school, I played football at every possible opportunity. This was until the age of 12, where due to the progressive nature of my condition, I needed a Powerchair full time. This didn’t stop me however as you would still find me on the playground attempting to play in my chair. In 2007, a client of my Dad told him about a sport called Powerchair Football and a club based at Stanmore Hospital called Aspire Powerchair Sports Club. At the time the club was affiliated with Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club, so you can understand the additional interest.

Before Powerchair football I had never really seen or participated in any form of disability sport, so it was all new to me. When the day came to visit the club, I was shy and not that interested at first. After some steady persuasion, I gave it a go in my normal Powerchair, as this was before anyone had Powerchair Football specific chairs. This was also a time before the chairs had Football specific attachments and front guards, so most of us put a car tyre around the front of our footrest.  As soon as I was on the pitch, I loved! I was living my dream of being a football player. 

Within my club, and the sport in general, the social side really matches the sport itself; it’s like one big family. I don't think all sports can say that wholeheartedly, but I think it’s down to the unique nature of Powerchair Football.

The last three years since starting my YouTube channel, the sport has been a large part of the content I upload. At first, it didn’t cross my mind, but in making Powerchair Football part of my vlog, I was promoting the sport to my audience, and in turn, attracting a lot of attention from fellow players and people within the Powerchair Football community.

Last year a good friend of mine George, a University film student, asked me if he could make a short film about me and the sport of Powerchair Football. I agreed, without hesitation! George and his University classmates came to Nottingham (where all National League fixtures are held) to film me in action as well as interview my brother and I. The film was graded highly and my brother and I became famous around Farnborough University. George tells me that his peers want part 2 in the future. The film was brilliant in giving my YouTube channel a boost and I gained a number of subscribers, so I have Powerchair Football to thank for that too.

Gianluca's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzH8eikBO8vobsG6TuD5zVA

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