ITS a game of strategy played at the Paralympic level, but for three-year-old William Brady, boccia provided a moment of sheer delight as he realised he could play with everyone else in the room.Wills life has opened up after receiving a motorised wheelchair after a fundraising effort by the Gympie community.Now he has had his first game of boccia.Boccia is a bowling game similar to the Italian game of bocce.It has been designed for people with some loss of functional arm and hand movement and for all ability levels.A ramp can be used for those who are unable to throw.William has Arthrogrythosis Multiplex Congenita with amnioplasia, a condition which creates severe muscle atrophy, joint contractions and muscle wastage, requiring him to be cared for full-time.William was given the chance to join in at Gympie, thanks to MontroseAccess, a charity which provides care and support to people with a disability, Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association and Avenue Support.His mother, Celia Knight, said it was a special moment when William realised he could play equally, thanks to a height adjustable ramp.
THE Southern Cross K-12 School Ballina Support Unit Boccia team has returned from Sydney, not with a trophy, but a lot of satisfaction and pride.
The special needs students, Anthony Pitt, Jayden Watson and Liam Hourigan, took part in the State Championships at Olympic Park Stadium.
They lost to Heathcote (2-3); defeated Pt Macquarie (5-1); lost to Bossley Park (3-4); and edged Dubbo (3-2).
\”We\’re so proud of their efforts; I would have loved them to have tasted victory,\” support teacher Rod Farrelly said.
\”They came up against Heathcote High, who boasted a national representative in its side in the first round.
\”That game was within a whisker of becoming a sudden-death playoff too.\”
I had a quick turnaround after the table tennis tournament; the next day was the boccia ball tournament. Boccia ball is essentially lawn bowling, where there’s a target ball and the two players try to throw their six balls as close to the target ball as possible.
As I said before, I didn’t practice much for boccia ball, and as a result, did not have extremely high expectations for the 40-player tournament.
The tourney was set up just like table tennis, where I had to win my pool to reach the single-elimination round.
As luck would have it, my first opponent in my four-person pool didn’t show up, so I won by forfeit. I was able to revel in my 1-0 pool-play record for about 10 minutes before I had to play my next match, which just so happened to be against my best LP friend, who is from Kansas.
“You don’t not know her,” said Americas Cup Competition Director Cathy Drobny, who coached Flora-Swick early in her career.
Flora-Swick, a 19-year-old sophomore at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark., is reaching for international success at the Americas Cup held Aug. 3-9 at the New Century Fieldhouse in Gardner.
Flora-Swick has already established herself as one of the best boccia players in the state and nation in her nine-year career.
A total of 78 competitors from nine different countries are set to compete at the 2013 Boccia Americas Cup tournament which is taking place in Kansas City starting tomorrow.
The line-up includes medallists from the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the Parapan Amercian Games.
The United States will have the biggest squad at the event, with 13 athletes competing across the four classes of BC1, BC2, BC3 and BC4.
The home squad is relatively inexperienced however on the international stage, with only one competitor from London 2012 taking part in Kansas, Austin Hanson, who competes in the BC3 category.
WindReach Bermuda has announced that four of its Adaptive Sports participants will be travelling to Kansas on August 1, 2013, to represent Bermuda in the Americas Cup Boccia Tournament. The tournament will take place from August 4 to August 8.
The Bermuda team will compete against elite athletes from South, Central and North America and the competition is expected to be fierce. Bermuda will be represented by Yushae Simmons, Steve Wilson, Jamal Bean and Jaime Brangman. The Americas Cup is the first of several Paralympic Qualifying Events in the lead up to the Paralympics in Rio in 2016 which the athletes are hoping to qualify for.
As a partner in the Rimrock Subaru and Rimrock Kia auto dealerships, Ernie Lee is a busy man.
But the Billings resident is also is busy in another pursuit, as a board member and active participant in the Dwarf Athletic Association of America. For the past four years he has worked on organizing the 2013 World Dwarf Games.
That work will culminate Aug. 3-10 with a week of athletic competitions that will bring nearly 500 participants from 17 countries to Michigan State University in Lansing, Mich.
Lee, 44, will wear a couple of hats at the games.
He will compete in both air pistol and boccia, a sport similar to lawn bowling. More important, he will serve as the assistant Chef de Mission for the U.S. team of 250 competitors.
Practicing for an international-level competition of any sport requires hard work and dedication, but that preparation takes even more persistence for 19-year-old Gardner resident Elizabeth “Lizzie” Flora-Swick.
Flora-Swick, who was born with cerebral palsy, will compete in the 2013 Boccia Americas Cup on Aug. 2-9 at the New Century Field House near Gardner. Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that limits one’s body movement.
“I practice about four times a week for an hour and a half at a time,” she said. “I get pretty tired.”
Although internationally recognized, boccia isn’t a well-known game in the United States.
An Army Veteran arrived home to Simpson, PA with two gold and one bronze medal from the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games held in Tampa, Fla. July 13-18. Albert Cortez participated in bowling, motorized slalom and boccia ball.
Nearly 600 athletes came from the United States, Great Britain and Puerto Rico to compete in the world’s largest annual multi-sport wheelchair event for military service Veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, amputations or neurological problems.
The World Dwarf Games will be held at Michigan State University from Aug. 3-10, and organizers are seeking volunteers to help out with the games.
The World Dwarf Games are hosted by the Dwarf Athletic Association of America, a nonprofit that provides amateur athletic opportunities for people with dwarfism.
Volunteers will be asked to greet spectators and guide them to the various events, as well as assist athletes and event officials. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old, and can choose the days and times they are available.
Campaign support director Amy Welch said there are opportunities for volunteers with specific sport knowledge to help out with individual games.
“Specifically, we’re looking for people who know anything about boccia, to help out with that event,” Welch said. “We don’t have anyone yet for that.” Boccia is a precision throwing game, similar to the lawn game bocce ball. In boccia, players throw leather balls at a target, with points given to the person who throws closest.