Wheelchair football team brings awareness to adaptive sports

LOS ANGELES -- Wheelchair football is no gentle sport! These competitive athletes play a modified game of football complete with first downs, plays, blitzes and touchdowns.

Manager and Co-Founder of Angel City Sports, Michael Garafola, said, "It's intense. There's hitting involved and throwing and catching. A lot of the same principles that go along with able-bodied athletes and the NFL, it's happening here in the USAWFL."

Wheelchair football is one of many programs that Angel City Sports has organized to create opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities to be active. Any sport that can be adapted for those with physical disabilities is considered an adaptive sport.

"We make use of whatever ability we do have," said player Alvin Malave.

The ultimate goal for these athletes is to raise awareness for the adaptive sport community and inspire more youth and adults with physical disabilities to get involved in athletic programming.

"These are real athletes and the things they can do in these chairs are incredible," said Rams Senior Manager of Community Affairs, Zach Kinkeade.

During the 2020 NFL Draft, Move United, an Affiliate of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, received a grant from the NFL and the Bob Woodruff Foundation to start an official wheelchair football league. The Los Angeles Rams were then able to partner with the Angel City Sports Wheelchair Football Team to sponsor their induction into the league. Thanks to this sponsorship, the team has recently received the official title of LA Rams Wheelchair Football Team along with some new Rams gear.

The new helmets are an example of the LA Rams' support for the team, complete with Rams logos and decals. Coach Bart Salgado said, "That hardly ever happens in wheelchair sports so we understand what they're doing for us and we truly appreciate it."

The team has certainly put in the work to earn these stripes on their helmets and the players are looking forward to taking them to tournaments. Salgado said, "People see us wearing our Rams helmets and our Rams jerseys, they're gonna know we're the real deal."

Social Media:

Angel City Sports: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Move United: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
LA Rams: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram