Category Archives: Australasia

Daniel Michel to be the first Australian boccia Paralympic competitor since 2000

Daniel Michel World Championships 2016

Via Inside the Games

Daniel Michel is set to become the first Australian to compete in boccia at the Paralympic Games since Sydney 2000 after being selected for Rio 2016.

The 21-year-old from Sydney earned a place in Brazil after finishing sixth in the BC3 category at this year’s World Individual Championships in Beijing.

“The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) is incredibly proud of Daniel and the high performance boccia program we manage,” Australia’s Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin said.

“To have a boccia athlete like Dan earn the right to represent Australia at the Paralympics for the first time since Sydney 2000 is a testament to the hard work the APC and our partners have put into developing the national programme over the past four years.”

Michel was born with spinal muscular atrophy type two, a motor neuron disorder which leaves him requiring assistance for everyday activities.

“Daniel has shown immense commitment and determination in reaching this point, and has proved himself to be a true leader for up-and-coming athletes with more severe disabilities,” said McLoughlin.

“He has been training exceptionally hard, and I’m looking forward to not only seeing him put this truly unique Paralympic sport into the spotlight in Australia, but for this to ensure a brighter future for the sport.”

Australia were represented by three men and three women at Sydney 2000 but none of them won a medal.

Daniel Michel, seen here competing at the BisFed World Championships, is set to become the first Australian to compete in boccia at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro since Sydney 2000 ©BisFed
Daniel Michel, seen here competing at the BisFed World Championships, is set to become the first Australian to compete in boccia at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro since Sydney 2000 ©BisFed
“I’m really excited to be selected,” said Michel.

It feels like a really good reward for the effort I’ve put in this qualification period.

“Being the first person to represent Australia at a Paralympic Games since Sydney 2000 is a massive honour.

“I’m really proud to have that title and to be doing that for my country.

“I’m hoping it’s going to have a huge impact on the sport and on the reputation and perception of people with severe disabilities.

“The overriding public perception surrounding severe disabilities is that people living with these disabilities aren’t really capable of succeeding in a sporting atmosphere.

“There’s an emphasis on being successful through academia, but sport is never really promoted as an avenue through which people with severe physical disabilities can achieve enjoyment and also success.

“I think when people see boccia at the Paralympics and see all these athletes competing with severe disabilities; it’s going to really widen their ideas of what people with disabilities are capable of doing. It’s going to help shift those perceptions.

“I think it’s going to go a long way in opening the eyes of people living with disabilities, and it’s going to show them the opportunities they have to play and compete in a sport.”

The winner of the Paralympic gold medal in the BC3 class at London 2012 was South Korea’s Ye-lin Choi, who beat team-mate Ho-Won Jeong in the final.

Via Inside the Games

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Boccia – Australia bundled out in dramatic fashion

Australia bundled out in dramatic fashion

 

Elation turned to agony in just a few minutes for the Australian BC3 Pairs Team on a day of high drama at the Asia Oceania Boccia Championships in Sydney.

 

The Australian team of Daniel Michel and Angela McReynolds had just orchestrated an amazing 5-4 victory over China in their final pool match, after beginning the final end facing a 4-2 deficit.  It was then left to Singapore to beat Thailand in a match staged concurrently on the adjacent court to send the Australia through to the semi-finals.

 

But it wasn’t to be.

 

Michel, McReynolds and the rest of the Australian team watched in dismay, as Thailand won the match in a tiebreaker.

 

Less than five minutes after posting one of Australia’s best wins in recent memory, the dream of a semi-final appearance, that was so close to becoming reality, was over.

 

It was a hard result to take for Australian Boccia Head Coach Peter King.

 

“We had two wins from three games  in the pool rounds which would normally see you progress to the finals, but the teams were so well matched, it just hasn’t gone our way,” King said.

 

“We set our goal to win two games, but we haven’t quite got the rewards we deserve.”

 

The reward King was referring to was qualification to the 2014 World Championships, granted to the three medal winning teams at these Championships. Had Australia progressed to the semi-final, a coveted World Championship spot would have been just one more win away.

 

Still, King said his players would only gain from the experience.

 

“We have shown to ourselves that we capable of beating the best teams in the world,” Kind said.

 

“But what we have done here clearly isn’t enough, we need to go further. We want to beat these top teams consistently and we know that we have to fight tooth and nail every day to be able to do that.”

 

Australia’s BC1/BC2 Team and the BC4 Pairs also dropped out of semi-final contention with heavy losses in the pool rounds today.

 

The BC1/BC2 Team were defeated by Korea (6-3) and China (8-6) while the BC4 Pairs were thumped 7-2 by Thailand and 13-0 by China. Both teams will complete their pool rounds tomorrow morning, before the semi-finalists take to the court in the afternoon.

 

**To catch all the finals action, tune into to the live webcast tomorrow, Friday 25th October from 10:30am AEST at http://boccia.para-sport-live.com**

 

Earlier today, world number one Ho Won Jeong claimed the gold medal in the BC3 individual division, but things didn’t go to plan for the world number ones in other categories during today’s medal rounds.

 

Reigning Paralympic gold medallist and world number one in the BC1 class, Thailand’s Pattaya Tadtong, was defeated in his gold medal match, while China’s Zhiqiang Yan had to settle for the bronze medal in the BC2 class despite his number one ranking.

 

Tadtong, who won gold medals in both the individual and teams event at London 2012, was the major drawcard for the tournament and had cruised through to the gold medal match, but was upset by team-mate Witsanu Huadpradit 5-3 in a thrilling final.

 

But where Tadtong and Yan failed, it was Jeong who lived up to the hype by defeating Korean team-mate Han Soo Kim 3-1 to claim the BC3 crown.

 

With Yan consigned to the bronze medal playoff where he defeated Watcharaphon Vongsa in a tie-break (4-3), world number four So Yeong Jeong of Korea defeated world number six Hiu Lam Yeung 6-2 to claim the gold medal.

 

In the BC4 class, China’s Yuansen Zheng posted a 5-0 victory over Hong Kong’s Vivian Wai Yan Lau to claim the gold medal while Pornchok Larpyen of Thailand won the bronze medal match 6-1 over Korea’s Hyeong Seok Seo.

 

A full list of medallist in the individual competition can be found below.

 

Action concludes at the 2013 Asia Oceania Boccia Championships tomorrow with the Pairs and Teams semi-finals and finals beginning from 2:30pm.

Boccia – Australians remain in finals contention

 

 

Jason Liukuey has continued on his winning way at the 2013 Asia Oceania Boccia Championships in Sydney on Tuesday, with his third win from three matches all but securing his passage to the quarter finals.

 

Luikuey was among seven Australians who posted a victory on day two of the championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, and is one of five Australians still in finals contention.

 

With the remaining pool matches to be contested on Wednesday, Luikey and his countrymen Daniel Michel, Tait Jenkins, Jean-Paul La Fontaine and Gavin Thorneycroft are all poised to progress if they can finish strongly.

 

But with Thorneycroft the only member of the quintet with international experience gained before these championships, Australian Boccia Head Coach Peter King said it will be intriguing to see how his emerging stars handle the occasion.

 

“We have all worked very hard on the team’s processes, and worked hard on how we prepared each individual athlete. We have put a lot of resources into simulating this tournament exactly, and that seems to be paying off,” King said.

 

“The benefit of our preparation is actually most evident when you look at what is not happeninghere. Everybody in our team is cool and calm and doing the right things at the right time. That is a very good sign.

 

“I’m feeling pretty content with how things are going at the moment.”

 

**Tune into to the live webcast from Wednesday 23rd October at http://boccia.para-sport-live.com**

 

Among the major highlights for Australia on day two were:

 

Victories to Tyler Ellis and Mecenzi Howard in the BC1 class. Ellis accounted for New Zealand’s Gary Williams (15-0) while Howard snatched victory in a tiebreak from Macau’s Tong Noi Ngai with the last throw of the day’s play after the pair were locked at 5-all.

 

In the BC2 class, Luikuey defeated New Zealand’s Matthew Whiting 7-2 to continue his fairytale international debut. The day before, he orchestrated two of the biggest upsets of the tournament with wins over 2008 Paralympic champion Hoi Ying Kwok and world number six Hiu Lam Yeung, both from Hong Kong.

 

In the B3 class, Daniel Michel defeated New Zealander Anthea Hurst 6-1 just hours after completing his mathematics examination for the NSW Higher School Certificate, while Tate Jenkins held his nerve in a thrilling contest against Thailand’s Chanatcha Soontornphor to win 3-2.

 

In the B4 class, Jean-Paul La Fontaine prevailed 8-0 over team-mate Dean Nottle to keep his hopes of a quarter finals appearance alive.

 

 

Australian results – Day 2

 

Scott Elsworth (AUS) defeated Fleur Mann (NZL) 13 – 1

Jean-Paul La Fontaine (AUS) defeated Dean Nottle (AUS) 8 – 0

Jason Liukuey (AUS) defeated Matthew Whiting (NZL) 7 – 2

Tait Jenkins (AUS) defeated Chanatcha Soontornphor (THA) 3 – 2

Daniel Michel (AUS) defeated Anthea Hurst (NZL) 6 – 1

Tyler Ellis (AUS) defeated Gary Williams (NZL) 15 – 0

Mecenzi Howard (AUS) defeated Tong Noi Ngai (MAC) 5 – 5 (won via tiebreak)

Zhiqiang Yan (CHN) defeated Fiona Lyons (AUS) 10 – 0

So Yeong Jeong (KOR) defeated Lachlan Kavanagh (AUS) 12 – 1

Qi Zhang (CHN) defeated Tyler Ellis (AUS) 4 – 3

Takayuki Kitani defeated Mecenzi Howard (AUS) 18 – 2

Hidetaka Sugimara defeated Scott Elsworth (AUS) 6 – 2

Yuen Kei Ho (HKG) defeated Angie McReynolds (AUS) 9 – 0

 

 

Australian results – Day 1

 

Jason Liukuey (AUS) defeated Karen (Hoi Ying) Kwok (HKG) 4 – 2

Jason Liukuey (AUS) defeated Hiu Lam Yeung (HKG) 3 – 2

Jean-Paul La Fontaine (AUS) defeated Akira Kinoshita (JAP) 11- 0

Gavin Thorneycroft (AUS) defeated Angie McReynolds (AUS) 4 – 3

Gavin Thorneycroft (AUS) defeated Suraphol Chandee (THA) 5 – 3

Daniel Michel (AUS) defeated Lieguo Dong (CHN) 8 – 2  

Mongkol Jitsa-Ngiem (THA) defeated Fiona Lyons (AUS) 6 – 2

Pattaya Tadtong (THA) defeated Mecenzi Howard (AUS) 12 – 0

U Kei Tang (MAC) defeated Tyler Ellis (AUS) 3 – 2

So Yeong Jeong (KOR) defeated Scott Elsworth (AUS) 6 – 1

Ho Won Jeong (KOR) defeated Tait Jenkins (AUS) 9 – 1

Yuansen Zheng (CHN) defeated Dean Nottle (AUS) 12 – 0

Yuansen Zheng (CHN) defeated Jean-Paul La Fontaine (AUS) 10 – 0

Hidetaka Sugimura (JAP) defeated Lachlan Kavanagh (AUS) 6 – 0

Han Soo Kim (KOR) defeated Angie McReynolds (AUS) 12 – 0

 

For full results visit www.boccia2013.com.au/results  

 

The 2013 Asia Oceania Boccia Chapionships will be webcast live from October 23-25. Log on to watch all the live action here: http://boccia.para-sport-live.com.

Australian Athletes Get Ready To Take To The World Stage

The final touches are being put to the Australian boccia team’s training as they prepare to take on the region’s best at the 2013 Asia and Oceania Boccia Championships in Sydney next week.

 

The first of three mandatory qualifying events for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, this will be the first big test for the Australian team as they begin their journey on the road to Rio.

 

In the largest international boccia event ever held in Australia outside the Paralympic Games, the 2013 Asia and Oceania Boccia Championships will see 76 athletes from nine countries compete for 21 medals across seven classes.

 

Held from the 21st – 25th October, the championships will feature athletes from countries including Australia, Japan, Thailand, New Zealand, China and Korea.

 

“As a mandatory qualifier for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, this is a great chance for our Australian team to test themselves against the world’s best, including reigning Paralympic champions, and play on home soil as their campaign for 2016 heats up,” said Boccia Australia President Robert Marshall.

 

“Australia has not sent a boccia team to the Paralympic Games since Sydney 2000 and we’re hoping we can turn this around and get a team to Rio. The Paralympic boccia program has taken an enormous step up in recent years with more people playing the sport across the country and dedicated coaches and sport science and sports medicine staff now working with the squad.”

 

“This is the first major competition for Paralympic qualification for our athletes and I’m excited to see what they can do.”

 

Boccia tests each competitor’s degree of muscle control and accuracy. Seated, athletes throw, kick or use a ramp to propel six leather balls as close as possible to a white ball which serves as the jack (target).

 

Competitors generally have a high level of physical impairment and it is particularly beneficial for people with severe cerebral palsy, post polio syndrome, locomotor disabilities such as muscular dystrophy, quadriplegia or multiple sclerosis and those with limited movement.

 

“This highly skilled and strategic game was originally developed from bowls and bocce as a sport suitable for people with the highest level of physical impairment but has grown to be more than just a pastime,” said Paul van Oosten, Pathways and Participation Senior Manager at the Australian Paralympic Committee.

 

“For many athletes with physical impairments, their sporting pathways can be limited. Boccia is a sport that can be played and enjoyed by anyone, whether it is at a local club level or at an international level,” said van Oosten.

 

The 2013 Asia and Oceania Boccia Championships will also be telecast for the first time throughout Australia and the world through the event web casting during the last three days of the event. This multi camera webcast along with expert commentary will capture all the highlights and key action from the event. To keep up to date with details about the web casting, visit:  boccia.para-sport-live.com     

 

For more information about the Championships, daily results, and how you can get involved with boccia, visit:www.boccia2013.com.au                      

The 2013 Asia and Oceania Boccia Championships is less than 1 week away!

The 2013 Asia and Oceania Boccia Championships is less than 1 week away!

In the last newsletter, we introduced you to Daniel Michel. Click here to watch Daniel in action and hear him talk about the game!

There are many ways you can join the event and get involved in this Paralympic great sport:

– come along to Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre to watch the event live (entry is free)

– watch the event live from your own home or work via the webcasting 
(23 – 25th October)

– get a group of friends together to watch the webcasting together

– visit the 2013 Asia and Oceania Boccia Championships website to find out more about the sport and the event

– spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues about the boccia and the event

– include information about boccia, the event and webcasting in your staff newsletters

– forward this newsletter on to interested friends, family, colleagues and your network

Kind regards
Boccia Australia
www.boccia.com.au

Boccia team earns praise after NSW championship effort

THREE hard-working members of Southern Cross K-12 School Ballina Support Units boccia team have earned resounding praise after rubbing shoulders with statewide contestants.The team, consisting of special needs students Anthony Pitt, Jayden Watson and Liam Hourigan recently appeared at the New South Wales championship tournament at Sydneys Olympic Park complex.

via Boccia team earns praise after NSW championship effort | Northern Star.

The world of boccia tactics

Palmerston Norths Greig Jackson is not the type of man to let a disability get in the way of his sporting endeavours. Kirsty Lawrence spoke to the captain of New Zealands national boccia BC3 team ahead of the Asia-Oceania tournament in Sydney.The controlled movement of propelling six smooth, round leather balls requires concentration, muscle control, accuracy and tactical awareness.For Greig Jackson, 47, these skills have built up over time and led to him being selected as the captain of the boccia BC3 team for New Zealand for the upcoming Asia-Oceania tournament.But Jackson is an athlete with a difference. He has cerebral palsy and his sport, boccia, is played at an international level specifically for people with the condition.

via The world of boccia tactics | Stuff.co.nz.

Ballina students to represent North Coast in NSW boccia comp

THREE students from the Southern Cross K-12 School Support Unit in Ballina will represent the North Coast in the NSW State CHS Boccia Championships next month.

Similar to bowls, boccia is a Paralympic sport designed for people with disabilities, including cerebral palsy.

Head teacher, Support, Kellie Gough said that Anthony “Anno” Pitt (Year 9), Jayden Watson (Year 11) and Liam Hourigan (Year 10) played well in defeating Lismore High 2-0.

via Ballina students to represent North Coast in NSW boccia comp | Coffs Coast Advocate.

Biddle makes Boccia national team

Devine, who stands a mere 137cm, will represent Australia in basketball at the World Dwarf Games in East Lansing, Michigan next month.

It will be his second Games, after Northern Ireland four years ago, but his first with boccia-playing partner Alyssa Biddle, 22, also in the national team.

The Hallett Cove couple are the only South Australians to make the 32-strong squad. Australia’s basketballers lost the gold-medal game to the US in 2009.

via Height no barrier in shooting for gold | News.com.au.

Danny gets the ball rolling on his Paralympics dream

Danny, who has cerebral palsy and relies on a motorised wheelchair for mobility, is hoping Warrnambool residents and businesses will support his fund-raising efforts.

Danny’s brother Keegan coaches him in the sport of boccia, a precision ball sport that is similar to bocce.

Danny won a silver medal at the Victorian titles in February and captained the state side at the national championships in Sydney in April. “He’s getting better all the time,” Keegan said. “He performed very well against tough competition in the nationals and he only lost to the captain of the Australian Paralympic squad and one of its best players.”

Danny now has his sights set on the New Zealand national championships in September, where he hopes the international competition will help him qualify for the Paralympic team.

Keegan said a squad comprised up to seven players, with only three people taking to the court at any one time.

“There’s quite a big showing for the sport in Queensland and News South Wales where the boccia program has been running for a long time, but it’s relatively new to Victoria.

via Danny gets the ball rolling on his Paralympics dream | The Standard.