Focus on boccia – York, UK

SO successful they had to move from their Melbourne base to New Earswick Bowls Club, First York Boccia Club are hoping the Paralympics will shine a bright light on their tactical sport.

Boccia, pronounced botcha, is played by wheelchair athletes with cerebral palsy and other conditions.

It is likened to boules with the aim to throw, or drop, either red or blue balls as close as possible to the white jack.

Athletes can play individually, in pairs or in teams. Those with a high level of impairment can use a ramp and a guide, who must face away from the play.

First York Boccia Club hosts an invitational tournament each year with teams coming from Middlesbrough, Wakefield and Huddersfield. Having already gone through difficult times, with volunteers having to take charge of their own affairs from the council, it has continued to thrive.

And, with around 30 regular members, the club are always willing to take more, said chair Carol Walker.

“We would like to get more youngsters to come,” she said. “When we take the sport into primary schools, children absolutely love it. We hope the Paralympics will give people the insight into what the game is. We include everyone and we have lots of members with different abilities.”

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via York’s Paralympic field of dreams (From York Press).

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