Soccer Paralympians Sought
The Paralympic Games are coordinated with the Olympic Games and feature the world's premier athletes with physical disabilities in 22 sports. The next Paralympic Games will be held September 17-28, 2004 in Athens, Greece.
Soccer in the Paralympic Games is played by FIFA 7-a-side rules. Members of the U.S. Paralympics national team compete on high school, college, and club teams year-round, coming together for national team training and competitions when called. Competition in Paralympic soccer is limited to players who have cerebral palsy, acquired/traumatic brain injury (TBI), or stroke.
U.S. Paralympics seeks to identify players who meet these eligibility requirements and would like to compete for the United States in international competitions. The U.S. team will compete in the Paralympic Soccer World Championships October 8-22, 2003, in Buenos Aires, Argentina in an effort to qualify for the 2004 Paralympic Games.
U.S. Paralympics and the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) are also looking to form club teams for Paralympic-eligible athletes in at least six U.S. cities (yet to be determined). U.S. Paralympics and NDSA, with support from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, will schedule introductory clinics and begin club programs in the fall of 2003 and spring of 2004. Eligible players should register at http://www.ncpad.org/663/2759/2003-09-01.
NDSA also supports programs in the Paralympic sports of boccia, cycling, equestrian, swimming, and track and field for athletes with cerebral palsy, TBI, or stroke. For more information, click on http://www.ncpad.org/663/2759/2003-09-01.