EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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November 12, 2012

Power to play

Soccer on wheels lets kids get into the game


“The sport is so unique, and it’s the greatest opportunity for young kids with significant disabilities to be a part of a team in a positive competitive environment with the opportunity to release that competitive nature that everyone has.”

Warren Jennings, of Londonderry, cheers on his son, Anthony, a freshman at UNH, playing in his first season with the PowerCats. “This is so wonderful. I’m so proud of him.”

Anthony Jennings, like a lot of his teammates, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at an early age, seemingly robbing him of a chance to play competitive sports into his adulthood. While he can still stand and walk now, Power Soccer has given Anthony many reasons to accept his future in a wheel chair.

“He got his first chair just a few months ago, and understandably, he resisted, but he needed to prepare for a chair. He has always loved soccer, and Power Soccer has given him the opportunity to get out there and be competitive in a way he hasn’t been able to in many years,” Warren Jennings said. “And as a dad, it’s been a joy to cheer him on and support him.”

“It’s been my first chance to play a sport since I was 10,” says Anthony, after just completing a speed test, one of the requirements before a game. Through a prideful smile, he continues, “The game means a lot to me. I get to play a sport, be competitive and have fun, just like someone who plays baseball or football. I’ve always loved sports, so this is a great opportunity for me.”

“You just need to remember to tone it down a bit, you’re older than some of these kids,” says Warren.

“Yeah, yeah, Dad, OK,” Anthony says as he whirls around and heads for the court.

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