Boccia – The thinking person’s para sport
“The thinking person’s para sport” – this was the way the TV commentary team introduced Boccia at the recent 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, and the world became excited about the sport.
For the first time ever, 51 games of Boccia were broadcast world-wide on television, and the world discovered what we’ve always known; that Boccia is a fascinating, exciting and accessible sport.
But did you know that many of the athletes in the BC3 and BC4 classifications are living with Muscular Dystrophy? Whether it was Adam Pleska winning the gold medal for the Czech Republic, Ho Yuen Kei from Hong Kong defending her ranking of World Number 2, or our own Dan Michel playing Great Britain’s Scott McCowan to win the bronze medal in the BC3 Individual, people were on the edge of their seats watching athletes with various forms of Muscular Dystrophy playing Boccia.
We’d like to say a huge congratulations to our MDNSW member, Dan Michel, and his ramp assistant Ashlee McClure, for winning Bronze. Dan says he first fell in love with the sport when he played at the MDNSW Summer Camp when he was a young teen. Jamieson Leeson and her ramp assistant, and Mum, Amanda Leeson- Page, competed in the BC3 pairs. Jamieson was the youngest player of Boccia in the Tokyo Games, and represents her home town of Dunedoo in country NSW. Both Dan and Jamieson live with SMA, and we are so very proud of their achievements on the world stage!
Boccia is fun to play with friends at the social level, and there is a pathway through club representation and N.S.W. State representation, all the way to representing Australia if that’s what you choose as your goal. Now, you may not want to play on the world stage – or maybe you do! Muscular Dystrophy NSW, in conjunction with Boccia NSW, are looking for people who would enjoy playing a sport that combines accurate ball placement with good strategic skills. We’re planning to run a Boccia Come-And-Try-Day in early 2022, and we’d love you to get in touch with us if you’d like further details. You can contact our Peer Connect Program Coordinator, Carolyn, at email@example.com.
Read more details on how the Australian team performed in their event here. You can also check out some more great Boccia games at the 2018 World Boccia Championships here. And remember, Muscular Dystrophy athletes play in either the BC3 or BC4 classifications, depending on their strength.
– Article written by Phil Bates, Boccia Australia