GB Boccia deliver BISFed 'Making Boccia Accessible' project in Dubai

Making Boccia Accessible programme supported by BISFed, Agitos Foundation, UK Sport and Hogan Lovells, aims to train Boccia Ambassadors across 3 continents and 20 countries to enable the candidates to return to their home country to begin to encourage more Boccia Ambassadors to enter the game with the hope that up to 10,000 new boccia players can be introduced into the sport.

400 boccia sets are being circulated as part of the project and National Paralympic Committees with trained Boccia Ambassadors will receive 10 sets via their local High Commission.

Andrinne Craig and Darren Thomson from Scotland were selected by Scottish Disability Sport to represent BISFed to deliver this exciting initiative in Dubai following session in Africa and South America. The tutors have many years’ experience in coaching and officiating Boccia and are also involved in the coach and officials education system in Scotland.

Scottish Disability Sport, who are the governing body for sport for people with a disability in Scotland and are a member of GB Boccia, have a history of supporting and developing boccia at local, regional and international level involving players and officials. They are also leading partners on coach and officials education programmes in Scotland and the UK.

17 Candidates arrived in Dubai representing the following countries, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Jordan, Mongolia and UAE.

These candidates had a very wide range of prior knowledge of Boccia with candidates form Mongolia claiming that this was the “first time they had touched a Boccia ball” to India stating that they have “around 10 people playing the sport”.

David Hadfield, President of BISFed, was in attendance for parts of the delivery but was also involved in the feedback session.

All candidates appeared to enjoy the course and gave excellent feedback.

The key elements that arose were that candidates were going to take their new knowledge back to their own countries and deliver further training, events etc.

This was summarised by the Sri Lankan candidate’s comments:

“We were looking for opportunities for children with cerebral palsy and love that boccia is so inclusive. We will create a boccia group/forum and train ambassadors from each district who can begin to deliver boccia to children in those areas.  There are three CP special schools with 110+ pupils and now they have a sport to play.  We want to create happiness and the opportunity for children to play sport through Boccia”.

The session ended with David Hadfield giving is thanks to all the candidates for their attendance and their commitment to further develop Boccia in their country.