With just two weeks to go, the countdown is officially underway for the Paralympics 2016. Local and national sport clubs are getting into the spirit of things by holding their own celebrations and awareness days.
Boccia England has just announced that the first National Boccia Day will take place at sports clubs up and down the country on Saturday 17th September, coinciding with a week’s coverage of the sport at the Paralympics.
What is Boccia?
Boccia is a target sport which aims to propel balls close to a jack ball. The game was originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy, but has now been developed to include people with a wide range of disabilities.
Those who really enjoy playing the game seem to love the opportunity Boccia gives them to be competitive in a way that they can’t be in any other sport – and the chance to win at something which involves a lot of precision, tactic and skill.
Boccia England Interim Chief Executive Jerome Pels said, ‘Boccia is celebrated as a very inclusive sport, and people of all ages and abilities can easily play.
‘Following the success of our athletes in the London 2012 Games, we have high hopes for this year and we wanted to bring some of the excitement of the games to a whole new audience at a local level. We want to encourage anyone, regardless of ability to come along for the day and try something new!’
Having a go
Clubs that have already signed up to the first National Boccia Day include:
- Access Sport (Bristol) Boccia Club, Bristol
- BEEs Boccia Club, Surrey
- Bidston Bullets Boccia Club, Birkenhead
- Boccia Sheffield, Sheffield
- Croydon Boccia Club, Croydon
- Cumbria Wheelchair Sports Boccia Club, Cumbria
- Hambleton Boccia Club, North Yorkshire
- Harlow Hurricanes Boccia Club, Essex
- Herne Bay Boccia Club, Kent
- Nottinghamshire Boccia Club, Nottinghamshire
- Pauls Place Boccia Club, Bristol
- Portland College Boccia Club, Nottinghamshire
- Prince Arthur Boccia Club, Kent
- Sleaford Boccia Club, Sleaford
- Sportsable Boccia Club, Berkshire
- Telford Boccia Club, Telford
- YMCA Redhill Boccia Club, East Surrey
Boccia athlete, and multi Paralympic medal winner, David Smith said, ‘I think this is a truly great way to get more people involved in this awesome sport, and I hope that National Boccia Day inspires Paralympians of the future.’
For more information about how you can participate in National Boccia Day, visit the Boccia England website www.bocciaengland.org.uk or follow the hashtag #NationalBocciaDay
Watching Boccia at the Paralympics
Coverage of the Boccia events at the Paralympics starts on Saturday 10th September and runs every day after that until Friday 16th September. Coverage will be on Channel 4.
If you want to know more about each of the 23 sports featuring in the Paralympics, My Family, Our Needs will bring you all the information you need over the next few weeks. We’ll even tell you when you can tune into your favourite event.
Let us know what you’re looking forward to most at the Paralympics and whether it inspires your child to get involved @weareMFON
Official Rio 2016 Paralympic Games website: www.rio2016.com
Understanding more about the sport and the venue: smsprio2016-a.akamaihd.net
Official broadcaster: paralympics.channel4.com