The Hillsborough County Buccaneers were formed through Hillsborough County Adaptive Sports, a signature program of their parks and recreation department.
Super Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson was on hand at practice Wednesday to present the team with their official gear as they get set to kick off their own season on September 11. The team will travel to Phoenix, Arizona for their inaugural tournament.
“I think it’s very key,” said Jackson of making football accessible to everyone. “Don’t give up your dream. They’re still able to go out and play football and have fun and just enjoy friendship with other people. That’s the biggest advantage to get out and enjoy the game that so many Americans love especially here in Hillsborough County.”
Wheelchair football is a full-contact, hard-hitting, fast-paced sport that is growing rapidly in the US. The league is a first of its kind for adults with physical disabilities looking to play America’s favorite sport, according to the Move United website.
This is the first wheelchair football team for Hillsborough County’s adaptive sports program, which promotes health, independence, and personal growth through sports for people with physical disabilities. They run other adaptive leagues in sports like basketball, with the team even winning a championship in recent years. The USA Wheelchair Football League (USAWFL) is a program of “Move United”, a nonprofit organization devoted to the promotion of parasports among youths and adults with physical disabilities. League expansion was made possible through the NFL Salute to Service Award and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
“Across the country everybody’s going to know we’re playing with the Super Bowl champs supporting us,” said Bozeman. “I don’t know what they got, but we got Super Bowl champs.”