Luca Wickens – My Story
Hi my name is Luca, I am 14 years old and a Powerchair Football Player. I have Cerebral Palsy (Right Hemiplegia with Severe Spastic Diplegia overlap) This means I cannot walk. I need a power wheelchair to mobilise in a majority of places. I also struggle with stiffness in my right side, shoulder, arm and hand. I am fiercely competitive despite my difficulties, and love playing Powerchair Football.
Where it all began
I tried out wheelchair football when I was about 7, which I loved. I attended various clubs, including a Cerebral Palsy Sport multi sports day, and eventually have been lucky enough to play nationally with Celtic Storm, Villa Rockets & more recently West Bromwich Albion Throstles. I play Powerchair Football at a national level in the premiership and regionally in the east midlands. I made my premiership debut at 10 years old and was awarded man of the match.
My competition experiences and playing with a team
I am now playing in my 5th season of Premiership level Powerchair football and until recently have previously played for Aston Villa Rockets where I won Most Valuable Player for the Premiership level of the regional league in the East Midlands (14/15). Season (15/16) I was the team’s top goal scorer across all the leagues in which they competed.
I won a Devon Sports Award for Disabled Athlete in 2016 and the previous year I won the Torbay Sports Award for Parasport Person Of The Year.
I have transferred teams part way through last season 16/17 to progress my football career and work with a higher standard of players and coaches to hopefully move closer to my dream of playing for England. I scored on my debut for my new team and have settled in very well, I work very hard and am completely focused on achieving in my team.
I was recently chosen to play for an under 16s England development team in a home nations event which we went on to win. The England under 16s squad all received winners medals. I was grateful to be given the opportunity, proud to represent my country and score.
The impact on my life
I have this year completed a Powerchair football coaching course as I wanted a better understanding of the game I play but I also wanted to try and get as many people playing the game I love as it has had such a positive impact on my life. I have made lots of friends all with similar interests to me/like minded. It has helped my self esteem by working together as part of a team.
I dream of one day playing for my country in the future with the main England squad, which will only be helped the more skills I learn, the harder I train & the wider variety of equipment I am familiar with & have.
Advice for others
If you are not sure about a sport, give it a try as you might be good at it or you may just enjoy playing for fun. A multisport event is a good way of trying various sports and seeing which one maybe for you.
Find out how to get involved with Powerchair Football here