Hull & East Yorkshire PFC would like to introduce you to our first team player and captain Kai who is the latest to star in Meet Our Players series. Kai is the first team captain, academy team coach and the marketing & communications officer for the club. He plays in the MDUK Championship and North East Championship. We introduce you to Kai:
How long have you been playing powerchair football?
I’ve been playing for 7 and a half years nearly 8 I've been at the club since day one.
What do you enjoy the most about powerchair football?
I love the community aspect of powerchair football. We all help each other even players who play for a different team. No one is judged. I’ve made friends for life and I know my family has too. We are all one big family.
Why should someone who has a physical disability, and uses a wheelchair on a daily basis try powerchair football?
I always say to other disabled people that this is a life-changing sport, you don’t have to play competitively you can train for the social aspect too. It helps your mental health, become more confident, speak with others who may have a similar condition to yourself and makes you feel part of a big community.
How has powerchair football changed your life?
It’s changed my life and my family life without a doubt. I’ve made friends for life and I talk to them all near enough on a weekly basis. I’ve been able to use my degree qualifications within advertising and marketing to promote the club, meet sponsors and tell them how much this sport is a life changer. It’s so much more than a sport.
What’s your favourite memory of the club?
There are a few fond memories that I will never forget. Firstly, in 2013 or 14 we became champions of the league by being unbeaten. Funny enough we just did that again this year. Secondly, moving to Hull University Sports Centre is a big highlight on how far the club has grown to be training in a world-class sports centre - that has a fully equipped changing place on a weekly basis is HUGE. It makes you feel like we are athletes and we are equally! Everyone even on opening days is always asking us what we are doing. Lastly, the first season in the national league is another important memory we learnt so much in that year (2015/16 I think) and to look at where we are now. One more thing, playing against Manchester United in the WFA Cup last year, we did win the game, but it was the last time I played against Jordan Duke. RIP Jordan! Oh, and coaching the academy team every match is a memory for me of how I’m able to pass my knowledge of being a national league player onto our prospective stars and seeing them flourish on the pitch is great.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still playing powerchair football, hopefully in the Premiership with the first team. From the academy team POV I’d love to coach them in the nationals and I think in five years time we could do that.
How did it feel when you first tried powerchair football?
I will never forget the time I got into a powerchair football chair and dribbled with the football. It brought so many emotions; happiness, excitement in a way relieved why - because I found something I knew I would be playing for the rest of my life, I’d be able to go and tell my friends about powerchair football.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
I’ve got a first-class masters degree in Advertising and Marketing as well as a BA Hons in Journalism & Digital Media. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything because you can if you put your mind to it.
What are your hobbies away from powerchair football?
I love anything to do with agriculture - tractors, combines, equipment, the animals, how crops grow etc. I love watching sport especially rugby league. I love going for a drive in the countryside, meals with family and friends. I love listening to music anything from the 80s to Frankie Vali to current charts. I enjoy going for meals with my family and friends. Just having fun!
What have you been doing during the lockdown?
It’s been hard to find things to do there is only so much time you can do watching films or the same Netflix series. But, in the first five or more weeks I watched some series on Netflix such as Tiger King, Sunderland Til I Die which, was really good. Now, I’m currently reading Paul Sewell book - Huge shoutout to my sponsor Sewell Group. Plus I’ve found my mojo in keeping occupied with club work, coming up with marketing campaigns using this time to build the club brand.
We would like to thank Kai for taking his time out during the lockdown to answer these questions. It's clear to see that Kai has a big passion for the club and sport, just by the roles he does from playing to coaching to marketing.