Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA) has had organized Power Wheelchair Soccer since 2004 committed to share the passion for soccer with those who live with a physical or visual disability giving them the opportunity to participate in therapeutic sports and fitness activities designed to improve self-esteem and to promote growth and well-being while instilling family values. During the current season, Missouri Rush and DASA agreed to bring some “Power Teams” into the Rush Family as a member teams. “They wear our colors, have a team page on our website and are included in all club communication,” assets Missouri Rush President Nik Bushell.
DASA has a large experience promoting sports for disabled athletes and their teams compete regionally and nationally against other Power Teams in the US. “Rush Soccer approached us in December about signing a partnership with DASA and it was our pleasure to agree since it’s a win-win agreement,” ensures Nik Bushell. Missouri Rush has been excited about the prospects of supporting the DASA Athletes and welcoming them in the organization. Head Power Soccer Coach Dennis St John recognizes: “Nik Bushell and the rest of the Rush Organization have welcomed the Power Soccer Athletes with open arms by coming to practices, donating uniforms, promoting DASA thru MO Rush, and even allowing us to practice at their facility.
DASA and Missouri Rush are growing together to give better opportunities to disabled athletes. DASA recently did a demo at the St Louis Youth Soccer Complex (SLYSA) last fall that attracted attention from the local community. The Power Soccer Program is reaching out as many as 150 potential athletes a year and Missouri Rush has adopted their top two competition teams, but both organizations want to keep growing. “We are currently attempting to have a fundraiser connected with Missouri Youth Soccer Association this fall and trying to involve a member of the US Women’s Soccer Team coming to St Louis,” adds Dennis St John.
Power Wheelchair Soccer is for athletes with physical disabilities. Most of the players use a power chair as their daily living mobility device. These athletes are unable to play stand up soccer because of their muscle weakness due to Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy or Spinal cord injuries. Besides that, Missouri Rush is also a sponsor of SPENSA (Special Needs Soccer Association) that deals with special needs and mentally handicapped players. “We have two scheduled sessions with SPENSA where our players assist and introduce the special needs players to soccer. We have about 80 volunteers over the two days working with SPENSA,” remarks Nik Bushell.
Power Soccer is already a member of the US Youth Soccer (USYSA) but needs the support of a larger member of people to help promote more teams throughout United States. DASA and Rush Soccer are committed to support athletes with physical disabilities because they love the game as much as the rest do. “They know the strategy of the game and they play hard. Same rules, same referees, and same deserving athletes; it’s just a different way to play the game we all love,” ensures St John.RUSH SOCCER is very proud of this initiative and encourages other members to support Power Soccer. Great job Missouri Rush & DASA. Please contact Missouri Rush for further information about Power Soccer.