Powerchair football: ‘My hat-trick got Northern Ireland to the World Cup’

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Patrick Cumiskey was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy when he was eight months old.

The condition, which has no cure, leads to loss of muscle function and strength.

But despite only taking up the sport a number of years ago, the 17-year-old has been playing for Northern Ireland’s powerchair football squad.

Powerchair Football is an adaptation of the running game played in specialised sporting wheelchairs, on a wooden surface.

A hat-trick from Patrick was instrumental in helping the Northern Ireland team qualify for the World Cup in Australia in 2022. “It’s a big deal to me because growing up I always wanted to play sport.

“Powerchair football has shown me that just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t compete at a high level.”

The Castleblayney teenager was recently selected as the latest recipient of the prestigious sports bursary from the Mary Peters Trust.

Video journalist: Niall McCracken