Background and History
If you've never come across the sport of Boccia, you obviously missed the 2012 Paralympics Games, in London, when Team GB took the Silver and Bronze in the individual and team events,
Boccia (pronounced 'bot-cha') takes its name from the Latin word bottia meaning boss or ball, and is a modern take on an ancient game of skill, similar to bowls. Played on an indoor court, opponents have six coloured balls (either red or blue) and must throw these, in turn, towards a white target ball, known as the 'Jack'. Points are awarded to the individual or team who manages to get their balls closest to the Jack. Skilled practitioners of the game use all manner of tactics to beat the opposition, so a referee is on hand to ensure that the rules are enforced.
Boccia relies on skill, subtlety and judgement, rather than brute force and ignorance, which goes a long way to explain its popularity amongst its devotees and its inclusion in Paralympic competition since 1984. Bear in mind, the Egyptians were playing something very similar, with polished stones, as early as 5200 BC, so it's not a sport which seems likely to go out of fashion any time soon. In fact, it is now played in over 50 countries worldwide and continues to grow in popularity, as demonstrated by the increasing number of clubs and associations around the globe
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Boccia in schools
Sporting NRG delivers taster sessions in primary, secondary and specialist schools throughout the borough. We are responsible for co-ordinating the local inter-school leagues, and have recently played host to the Under 19s County Championships, on behalf of The Lord's Taverners Junior Development Programme. We have a vested interest in promoting Boccia locally, as some of our proteges have been signposted towards competition at regional and national level since their introduction to the sport. 170 youngsters with special educational needs took part in the Leagues last year, with the winning teams going on to represent the county in the National Schools Final, organized by Boccia England.
Boccia in the community
Don't Dis Ability was established in 2006, in association with Blackburn Community Sports Club, to provide opportunities for local people with disabilities to participate in a range of accessible sports. Such was the enthusiasm for Boccia, that the following year, the club decided to focus solely on the sport. Weekly sessions are held at St. Bede's College, every Thursday, during term time, from 6-7 PM, with expert coaches on hand offering help and advice to those new to the sport. The club welcomes adults and children, aged 6 years and above, and caters for varying disabilities and complex needs. There are competitive opportunities at every level, from beginners to advanced, and for the more aspiring players, we also have two pan-ability teams who represent the club nationally,
Who can take part ?
Boccia is accessible to people of all ages and abilities and provides a great social setting in which to get involved. You've no doubt heared the saying, it's not the winning that matters, but the taking part; we'll leave it up to you decide whether this rings true or not, but once you've played an End or two, you may well find yourself arguing the Toss...in a most friendly way of course!
For further details, or to arrange a taster session for your school, please contact the office on Tel: 01254 693 148, or email via the link below.