Power chair player loved World Cup

Daniel Cunningham might struggle to find the right words as to why he loves playing power chair soccer.

Daniel Cunningham enjoyed his World Cup experience with Canada in Paris

Daniel Cunningham enjoyed his World Cup experience with Canada in Paris

Daniel Cunningham might struggle to find the right words as to why he loves playing power chair soccer.

What he doesn’t struggle with is playing the game that he loves.He recently represented the Okanagan as its only player on Team Canada, which travelled to Paris, France for the World Cup held Nov. 2 to 6.

“It was nice to play against those top level players and with top level players,” said Cunningham. “It’s a lot of fun, the competition is great.”

Cunningham described the talent as “crazy”, as his eyes opened wide to how good players in the sport can be. Being exposed to that drives Cunningham to push himself.

“I learned a lot,” he said.

Canada finished sixth in its debut of the Federation International Power Football Association World Cup ahead of Australia, Portugal, Ireland and Switzerland. The United States defeated England 3-0 in the championship game, while France defeated Belgium for bronze. Japan was fifth.

Canada’s coach Gordon Marks said they would have liked better results, but admitted that competition was pretty stiff.

“I think we had done well,” he said.

Marks was pleased with how Cunningham played considering he had major back surgery in the summer. While the surgery did help Cunningham sit better in his chair, his neck mobility was compromised.  The surgery also held Cunningham back from being able to train more with his Canadian teammates, said Marks.

While Cunningham was chosen to be one of the goalies, he didn’t see any time as the backup. Instead, his playing time came as a forward in a few games.

“In those first two games we didn’t dominate,” said Marks, as they defeated Ireland 3-0 and Australia 1-0. “We were kind of struggling. Games we won, they were tight games.”

Canada lost to France, the reigning world champion, and lost to Belgium, who is part of French league. Since Canada was not dominant in its World Cup debut, Marks said among the things that need to be looked at are custom game chairs and their playing strategies.

“All the players were glad to be part of it,” said Marks. “I think they were hoping to be fourth or fifth. Losing the fifth place game was disappointing to everybody.”

Having arrived four days before the World Cup started gave Canada the chance to get in extra training. They also had scrimmage games against the United States and Australia. Marks said that was good to give the players exposure they hadn’t had before.

Cunningham, who also got a chance to see the sights of Paris with his family, wants to experience the World Cup stage again.

“I’m going to work to do it again,” said Cunningham, who feels he improved.


Just Posted

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Rune on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read