‘Don’t be afraid to try something new...’

This was a common phrase I remember from when I was younger. I’m proud to say that I took the advice on board and I wouldn’t be in the position that I am in now. Let’s rewind six years to when I first heard about powerchair football and taster session I attended.

The first time I got into a powerchair football chair was literally a couple of months after London 2012 Paralympics. In fact, the Paralympics gave me the inspiration to try a new sport. In October/November 2012, I was informed by my social worker about a powerchair football taster session that was taking place in Hull. Little did I know that this taster session was going to change mine and my family lives for the better. After, registering a place on the taster session I was counting down the days, a mixture of feelings nervous, excitement and curiosity. I spent the night before watching videos on YouTube about powerchair football. I remember attending a taster session in Hull and I loved it – I never had any thought about the future what league I would want to be playing in with my team.The first time I got into the chair my face lit up because I was finally playing football. When I was younger I used to try to kick a football but then fell over and all I heard at school was about my friends playing the sport I wanted to play. Well, the minute I tried powerchair football I knew I could be on the same level as my friends.

I remember my first tournament in April 2013, pulling on my match shirt and the captain’s armband was a huge honour. I remember winning top goal scorer of the tournament – must have scored some goals can’t remember exactly how many. There is still one proud moment I can recall and that was being crowned champions of the North East Regional League in 2013. The team was unbeaten in the campaign and lifted the shield up in front of our home supporters at then the Bonus Arena in Hull.

In 2014/2015 the club joined the National League a year early than expected. The first season wasn’t the prettiest, to be honest, it was very much a learning curve. We were getting beat a lot, to begin with, but, we put in a lot of hours in the sports hall and narrowed the margins down, winning only one before end of the season. The following season we continued to improve and the same again. Since then every season has been hugely positive as we improved our league position including my goal count. This season we are slowly progressing getting used to playing as a team and against new teams who have entered the league.

So where I am now?

I’m extremely proud to be the captain of Hull & East Yorkshire PFC first team who compete in the MDUK Championship. Also, I’m the academy team coach and marketing & communications officer for the club. I absolutely love the sport I play and really enjoy telling people about my journey and how the sport has changed my life. I’ve made friends for lives even if I have to play against them in a match. One question I always get asked is where do you see yourself in five years. Well, I hope I will be a lot closer to achieving my dream of representing my country in the sport I love, plus being a captain of a Premiership team – we’ve got a lot of hard work to continue but, we aren’t far off. 

Powerchair football has changed mine and my family lives, we couldn’t imagine a life without it.

To continue to support Kai and many others to play Powerchair Football at the highest level you can donate to support the WFA below.

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