South Ayrshire Tigers powerchair football team need to find sponsors to continue playing in the Scottish Powerchair Fooball League premiership.
The club, established in 2015 by South Ayrshire Council and South Ayrshire Access to Sport, now has 12 full time members, the youngest just 12 years old. Players compete by either having special bumpers attached to their own wheelchair or for more serious competition, players use specially modified chairs tuned to be faster and more responsive.
The Tigers, who currently compete in the league premiership sponsored by Muscular Dystrophy UK and run by the Scottish Powerchair Football Association, are in with a chance of lifting the title this year but they need to find sponsors to cover their costs if they want to compete in the league next year and to compete against other teams across the UK in the future.
Adam McGovern, the South Ayrshire Tigers head coach, said: “It is thanks to the effort and extra time dedicated by the players, their families and carers that the Tigers have grown from a weekly training session to a team that competes in the Scottish Premiership.
“The Tigers are a popular team with a growing reputation in the UK. They are highly regarded by rival players and coaches for their positive attitude and model sportsmanship shown at matches. They are a team of people I am very proud to coach”.
James Doull, the Tigers team captain, said: “Being part of the Tigers means I now have a social group of like-minded friends, goals to achieve and the opportunity to continue to grow and improve my skills to play for Scotland.”
South of Scotland MSP and former Olympian Brian Whittle is supporting the team by running the Roon the Toon 10K in Kilmarnock, and taking part in the Ayr Running Festival to raise funds for the team.
Mr Whittle said: “The South Ayrshire Tigers are a great example of how sport can break down barriers and change lives.
“Having played against them with a team of MSPs - and lost spectacularly - I know how much effort they put in and it’s great to see them challenging for the premiership title this year.
“If your business might like to sponsor the team for next year, and hopefully beyond, please contact me at Brian.Whittle.MSP@parliament.scot. Anyone who’d like to support the Tigers by sponsoring me can visit – https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/brianwhittlemsp