Great Britain won Paralympic gold in the BC1/BC2 Team and a silver in the Individual BC2 in Beijing in 2008. It was an outstanding performance from the GB Boccia team, and they have set themselves similarly ambitious targets for 2012.
Since Beijing, the British team has maintained its reputation as a leading nation in Boccia.
At the 2009 European Championships the team won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze. David Smith won gold in the Individual BC1 event and Nigel Murray won bronze in the Individual BC2 event. The duo then teamed up with Zoe Robinson, Dan Bentley and Andrew Morgan to win silver in the BC1/BC2 Team event. Meanwhile brothers Stephen and Peter McGuire and Jamie Kelly won GB’s second gold in the Pairs BC4. Sadly, Jamie passed away in 2011 at the age of 17.
At the 2010 World Championships, Nigel Murray went one better than at the Europeans to win silver in Individual BC2, while Stephen McGuire secured silver in Individual BC4 and then joined Peter to win the same colour in Pairs BC4.
The 2011 World Cup in Belfast saw the BC1/BC2 Team pick up a bronze while Nigel Murray kept up his record of medalling in every Individual BC2 event since Beijing with silver, thus retaining his World No.1 ranking. The BC3s had their best performance for many years with the Pair finishing sixth and Jacob Thomas coming fifth on his major championship debut.
The final qualification event, the 2011 Europa Cup, saw David Smith and Dan Bentley win Individual BC1 and BC2 golds respectively. Stephen McGuire won BC4 silver with brother Peter picking up the bronze.
At the London Prepares Test Event in May 2012, British athletes won five medals: gold for David Smith in Individual BC1, gold for Nigel Murray in Individual BC2, gold for Jacob Thomas and Jess Hunter in BC3 Pairs, bronze for Jacob Thomas in Individual BC3 and bronze for Team BC1/BC2.
GB Boccia has also invested in talent identification and development, with the result that several athletes have been fast-tracked onto the GB squad. Both Jess Hunter and Jacob Thomas were identified through a systematic talent programme and are hoping to compete in London.