Paralympic sport, Boccia, celebrates 35 years

Children at The Children’s Trust charity are playing Boccia today, a target sport that’s similar to bowls, for individuals with disabilities and limited mobility.

Hannah enjoying a game of Boccia
National Boccia Day celebrates 35 years of Boccia: pronounced bot-cha and derived from the Italian word for ‘ball’. This worldwide Paralympic sport is totally inclusive and today children and staff at The Children’s Trust are playing the game. People with severe disabilities, of any age, and those who are visually impaired or blind can all benefit from playing Boccia. The ball sport physically engages individuals and boosts confidence, communication and resilience. It also helps combat loneliness and isolation. Today’s Boccia games at The Children’s Trust was hosted by Katie Gatt, head coach of Boccia at the YMCA East Surrey. Talking about the benefits of Boccia she said: “It’s such an inclusive sport. It can improve hand-eye coordination, concentration and confidence. It’s a ball sport that everyone can take part in that can also become a tactical game.” The ball game is played on a flat, smooth surface, with a court the same size as a badminton court. From a seated position, players propel balls to land as close as possible to a white marker ball, known as the Jack.  Two sides compete over a set number of ends. Individuals can roll the ball down a ramp, throw the ball or kick it.
Boccia target practice
  Boccia UK is a registered Charity and National Governing Body for Boccia in England. The sport had its Paralympic debut in New York in 1984 when 19 athletes represented five different countries. At the 2016 Rio games 108 athletes competed. Boccia is now a worldwide sport being played in 50 countries. How are you going to celebrate? Boccia UK has suggested 35 great ideas!
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