Torsten uses an electric wheelchair and special control because of congenital multiple joint stiffness and nerve damage. As a Powerchair Football player in the first federal league (Bundesliga), the right technical equipment is key. This includes an agile wheelchair and a special control to manage the electric wheelchair. In this story, Torsten explains how the right equipment improved his sports performance.
“Good technical equipment, such as a sports wheelchair and adjusted joystick are a basic requirement to ensure a fast and tactical game.”
- Torsten from Dresden, Germany
Struggling with an entry-level wheelchair
Torsten uses assistive devices for both his daily life and his sports activities. For everyday life, he uses a Paravan PR30 electric wheelchair combined with the Heavy Duty Joystick. The latter is an extremely durable proportional joystick developed for users with excessive force. ‘Because I cannot move my fingers separately, I use my entire arm to operate the joystick’, Torsten adds. In order to do this, a custom-made hand shell is mounted on the joystick.
For Powerchair Football, Torsten used an entry-level wheelchair with a standard joystick up till 2022. He explains, ‘the joystick easily got damaged and parts inside broke because of the high impact the equipment has to endure’. Sports club Motor Mickten helped him get the right equipment to lift his sports performance higher.
An agile wheelchair and a durable joystick
‘The sports club provided me a Strikeforce wheelchair’, Torsten begins. This electric wheelchair is specifically developed for Powerchair Football. Due to the low centre of gravity and wide wheelbase it is very agile. Several adjustments were made to fit the chair to Torsten’s needs. To give an example, the armrest on the right-hand side of the wheelchair was removed. To control the powerchair Torsten uses a Heavy Duty Joystick and a customized hand shell.
“It’s obvious to use the Heavy Duty Joystick in Powerchair Football as well since perfect control is essential.”
- Torsten from Dresden, Germany
Altogether, installing the joystick and hand shell and fitting it to Torsten’s needs took about three hours. ‘The first thing I had to do was get used to the speed and power of the new wheelchair. It only took a few laps in the sports gym to get full control over the wheelchair since I was already accustomed to the joystick’, Torsten adds.
Back to a fast and tactical game
A standard joystick consists of small, sensitive parts and does not endure excessive force. In Powerchair Football a standard joystick easily gets damaged. That’s why a more robust joystick was needed for Torsten. He explains ‘because of the durability and higher resistance of the Heavy Duty Joystick, I can control the powerchair smoothly and deliver a better performance within the team.’ With the right assistive devices, Powerchair Football players can play a fast and tactical game.
Torsten, thanks for sharing your view on what good Powerchair Football requires in terms of assistive devices. Inclusive sporting opportunities are essential to ensure all people can reap the physical, mental and social benefits of sport. Contact us for more information on Special Controls for electric wheelchairs.