Proudly Sponsoring Powerchair Footballer Jon Bolding
18th August 2015
Mark Bates Ltd are proud and delighted to announce we have signed a sponsorship contract with none other than Jon Bolding, the captain of the England powerchair football team. If you have never heard of powerchair football now is the time to take interest into what is unquestionably one of the most technically difficult and exciting sports I have ever seen.
Jon was born with a rare muscle condition called central core myopathy which means his muscles do not develop at the same rate of most people. He is able to walk with the aid of leg braces but without them he is confined to a wheelchair. Jon’s parents introduced him to the sport twelve years ago and since then he has been hooked and worked very hard to develop his undoubted skills. As well as playing for his national team Aspire FC based in Watford, Jon is the current captain of the England squad.
Powerchair football is one the fastest growing sports played by the disabled. It is very fast paced game requiring control, accuracy and a considerable amount of courage. It is an indoor sport with four players from each side on the pitch and a thirteen inch football. Each match is forty minutes long with two sessions of twenty minutes.
Originally players used string to attach half a car tyre to the front of a standard powerchair to act as a bumper but today most players use specially adapted chairs. The Wheelchair Football Association was formed in 2005 to govern the sport and is recognised by the FA.
The England team have been proudly wearing the three lions for two years and last year reached the final of the European championships. Managed by Colin Gordon the squad train together at St Georges Park as much as funding will allow but the team start this year’s training in a particularly optimistic frame of mind because nearly all the players have the specially built Strike Force powerchairs.
Mark Bates Ltd were delighted to welcome Jon when he came up to visit us in our new offices on the 31st July to finalise the sponsorship contract and to give us a demonstration of his new strike force powerchair. He was also kind enough to take the time to give Mark Bates, Managing Director, a masterclass in powerchair football and it is safe to say Mark could definitely do with a bit more practice.
It was a great morning all round and hopefully the start of a long term friendship between Jon and Mark Bates Ltd.