This week, hundreds of people, at multiple facilities across Essex and Westminster have enjoyed a game of boccia in celebration of National Boccia Day on Monday, September 27.
Boccia is an inclusive sport that tests muscle control and accuracy. As it can be played from a seated position, it is accessible to those using a wheelchair, creating a highly addictive game that anyone can play.
“Boccia has been an integral part of our programme for many years,” says Tom Doughty, Coach North Essex, Sport For Confidence . “Every week we run 12 sessions and engage more than 231 participants. It is a game that pitches teams against each other, with team members each trying to get as close as possible to a target ball. Whilst our sessions focus on fun and friendship, games can become quite competitive.”
Boccia has roots in ancient Greece and Egypt and is thought to be one of the first games played by mankind. Today, it appears as a core sport on the Paralympic programme and has no Olympic equivalent.
Lyndsey Barrett, Founder at Sport for Confidence and Occupational Therapist, says: “Boccia is one of the few sports that needs very few adaptations to make it accessible to those who traditionally might struggle to get involved in more traditional sports. We have worked with Boccia England, the sports official National Governing Body, for many years helping to promote the activity and get as many people playing as possible.
“Recently, in partnership with Boccia England, we have produced an evidence-based, Therapeutic Guide for health care professionals, to empower them to successfully integrate the sport into their intervention and assessment. This will extend the reach of the sport, enabling many more people to experience how the sport can promote positive occupational outcomes that enrich daily lives way beyond the field of play.”
To find out more about how to get involved in Boccia and the many other sporting activities delivered by Sport For Confidence across the county, visit sportforconfidence.com
Pictured: Coach Shannon Searle celebrates the inclusive game of Boccia at Leisure World, Colchester