Phoenix Rising FC and the Ability360 announce new collaboration
By Kasey Kaler
Phoenix Rising Football Club and Ability360 announced an official partnership between the professional soccer club and the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center’s adaptive power soccer program.
Under the agreement, the Ability360 power soccer team will rebrand to the Ability360 Phoenix Rising Power Soccer Program. The team will don a similar crest to their counterparts and become the first local power soccer program to be affiliated with the professional soccer team.
The partnership becomes just the second of its kind in the U.S., as Louisville City FC forged a similar alliance with LouCity Power Soccer in April 2019.
Power soccer is played by people with disabilities using a custom power wheelchair specifically designed for the sport. Each team is made up of four players including a goalkeeper and played on a basketball court. Using a foot guard that extends past the front of the chair, players pass and shoot an oversized soccer ball.
“We are beyond excited,” Gus LaZear, vice president and general manager of Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, said in a press release. “Community partnerships such as this give our players and fans a sense of pride that can make all the difference.”
The team is coached by Tony Jackson and also includes a developmental team. Last season, Ability360 was crowned national conference champions.
“I came back to Phoenix with the goal of creating a winning program,” Jackson said. “It’s great to be aligning ourselves with a professional team that has become such a powerhouse.”
Phoenix Rising General Manager Bobby Dulle said the club is excited to welcome these athletes to the Rising brand.
“We look forward to providing another platform to expand the reach of adaptive power soccer,” he said in a prepared statement.
For 2020, both clubs plan to host activities for fans to become more involved in the Rising partnership.
Kasey Kaler is a graduate of Gonzaga University’s Sport and Athletic Administration M.A. program and Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication B.A. program. Kasey has a passion for producing content for a multitude of platforms and sharing stories to help people view differences as an asset.
Read more by Kasey Kaler.