An Introduction to the Sport of Boccia
Spelt B-O-C-C-I-A - but pronounced "Botcha", it is organised worldwide by CP-ISRA. This is the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association, which was founded in 1978.
CP Sport, is a national charitable organisation based in Nottingham, whose aim is to provide sporting opportunities for those with cerebral palsy. Boccia was introduced into the UK in the early 1980s.
It’s thought the game originated in Greece with competitors tossing large stones at a stone target. When it came to the UK, boccia was solely designed as a sport for those with severe cerebral palsy. It has now developed into a game played by many sections of the community - and from a purely recreational level up to the intensely competitive Paralympics. The rules of Boccia are determined by CP-ISRA and are reviewed every four years, usually just after the Paralympics.
CHESHIRE BOCCIA INTERNATIONAL OPEN
A team of 9 players travelled up to Wigan over the May Day Bank Holiday to compete for Wales against the best Boccia teams in the World. Unfortunately the team was disrupted on the Friday travelling up as news filtered through that one player and her family had been involved in a road traffic accident. Thankfully no-one was injured, but they returned home to recover from the shock.
The Welsh squad was made up of three teams, a BC1/2 Team made up of Steve Evans (Crumlin), Dylan Evans (Rhyl) and Andrew Williams (Mold). The BC3 Pair of James Bailey (Cardiff) and Jacob Thomas (Pembroke) were joined with Gareth Stafford (Wrexham) following the withdrawal of Kathryn Jones (Caerphilly). The last team were in the BC4 class, with Tomas Martin (Cardiff) being paired in a new partnership with Kathryn Watkins (Trecastle).
With top ranking teams from Portugal, Spain, Slovak Republic and Great Britain amongst others the young Welsh squad held their own over the two days of competition, with the highlights including the 1/2 Team winning against Ireland (Ranked Top 8 in the World) and the BC4 pair taking Portugal (Ranked No.1) to a tie-break, but eventually lost 4 – 2.
BC1/2 Team finished 8th
BC3 Pair finished 9th
BC4 finished 6th
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