Via Inside the Games
Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) President David Hadfield has claimed that 2016 was the “most successful year yet” in the history of the sport.
Hadfield made the assertion during his New Year’s message to BISFed members, where he looked back on the governing body’s achievements over the past 12 months.
He said that boccia is the “fastest growing” Paralympic sport, while reflecting that the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games “produced the most competitive boccia event yet, with an ever higher level of skill on display to record spectator numbers”.
The governing body’s “Making Boccia Accessible” scheme, which is supported by the International Paralympic Committee’s development arm the Agitos Foundation, UK Sport, GB Boccia and law firm Hogan Lovells, was also reflected upon.
It is claimed the programme, which aims to train “ambassadors” in the sport across the world, has helped to introduce boccia to 23 countries which did not have an active presence.
A total of 10,000 people are believed to have participated in the sport as a result of the scheme, with Hadfield stating that BISFed are seeking additional funding to deliver the next stage of the project.
Bahrain, Costa Rica and India were all welcomed to the fold during 2016, taking the number of total member countries to 57.
The number of world ranking events was quadrupled during the 2013 to 2016 quadrennial, while BISFed developed a software system to help support operations and manage competitions effectively.
The competition management system will be used for the first time this year, with the governing body describing it as “world class”.
Updated rules and new tests for boccia balls are set to be completed before this year’s competition schedule begins, while a coaching pathway is expected to be published later in 2017.
Hadfield also encouraged members to consider candidates for elections to the BISFed Board, with several existing members required to step down when their terms come to an end at the governing body’s General Assembly.
The Assembly will take place in Hong Kong on May 27, following the conclusion of the Asia and Oceania Regional Championships.
Via Eastleigh News
Eastleigh-born Rio Paralympic gold medallist David Smith has been awarded an MBE for services to Boccia in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
David won a gold medal in the BC1 mixed individual Boccia event at the Rio Paralympics, beating the Dutchman Daniel Perez 5-0 to claim the title. His gold in Rio adds to the gold he won in Beijing and the silver and bronze he won in London.
Via GB Boccia
The squad won six medals from seven events with David Smith taking BC1 Gold the highlight.
BC1/BC2 Team (David Smith, Nigel Murray, Josh Rowe)
The Team won one and lost one in their pool to qualify for the semi-finals where a 14-2 victory over Brazil saw them take on Japan in the final. The match finished 7-7 but Japan presided on the tie-break to take Gold.
BC3 Pair (Jacob Thomas, Patrick Wilson, Jamie McCowan)
The Pair won all three of their pool games, scoring 32 points and only conceding one. They beat Belgium 10-1 in the quarters but went down 4-1 to eventual winners Russia. They got back on track with a 10-1 win over Sweden to take Bronze
BC4 Pair (Stephen McGuire, Kieran Steer, Evie Edwards)
The Pair were drawn in a tough pool and lost to Slovakia and Germany with a solitary win against Russia. Brazil beat Canada in the final.
David Smith – Gold
Smith went through the competition unbeaten sailing through the pool and knock out games, beating Daniel Perez of the Netherlands to take Gold
Nigel Murray – Bronze
Josh Rowe – 4th
Claire Taggart – 16th
All GB athletes made it out of their pools. Claire Taggart came up against World Cup 2010 winner Abilio Valente of Portugal in the last sixteen and lost 11-1. Rowe and Murray both made it as far as the semi finals but both were knocked out, Rowe by World no 2 Maciel Santos of Brazil and Murray by Bernd Meints of the Netherlands. It was therefore an all GB scrap forBronze with Murray prevailing 7-1.
Patrick Wilson – Bronze
Jamie McCowan – 9th
Jacob Thomas – 15th
McCowan and Thomas both bowed out at the last 16 stage while Wilson, having won all of his pool games was halted at the semi final stage by Canada’s Eric Bussiere. He bounced back to take Bronze with a 4-0 win over Brazil’s Evelyn Oliviera who had previously beaten Thomas.
Stephen McGuire – Bronze
Kieran Steer – 14th
Evie Edwards – 16th
World Champion McGuire followed a similar trajectory to Wilson with Pedro Clara of Portugal his conqueror in the semi final. Like Wilson he regrouped to defaet multiple Paralympic medalist Eliseu dos Santos in the Bronze match. Steer and Edwards both went out in the last 16, Edwards beaten by McGuire.
Via GB Bocci
Via GB Boccia
Jamie McCowan beat Patrick Wilson in a tight match in the semi final of the individual BC3 competition having already overcome him in the pool stage. McCowan ended up with silver after a 6-2 loss to Korea’s Howon Jeong in the final. Wilson took bronze after a 5-2 win over Russia’s Aleksandr Legostaev.
The individual competition had followed a strong BC3 Pairs run for the British duo which ended with a bronze medal. McCowan and Wilson met the Korean pair in the semi and lost 4-1 but beat Russia by the same score to take home a medal.
Will Hipwell in the individual BC2 and Jamie Docherty in the individual BC4 were the other GB players at the event but neither made it out of their pool.