An inclusive Boccia Festival was held in Ipswich recently to mark National Boccia Day.
The event, organised by local charity ActivLives and opened by the Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr Parry, was attended by over 50 participants. It was supported by Suffolk’s ‘Most Active County’ Partnership, Special Olympics Suffolk and Ipswich Borough Council.
“For anyone who hasn’t come across Boccia before”, said Mike McCarthy, from ActivLives, “it is a sport that is played whilst seated. A little like the games of Petanque and Boules, it provides a great test of control, co-ordination and tactics and is one of the most inclusive sports there is – it can be played by anyone and everyone, irrespective of their age, fitness or ability”.
At the elite level, Boccia is a Paralympic sport, but the ActivLives sessions, which are held locally in the community, can be attended by anyone, whether or not they have a disability.
“It was National Boccia Day on the 27th September, so we were really keen to host an event that gave both new and existing players a chance to meet up and celebrate this brilliant sport” added Mike.
The Boccia Festival included an introduction to some of the skills, tactics and rules involved with the sport as well as an opportunity for participants to take part in a team competition. Boccia is one of many sports and physical activities on the weekly EverydayActiv programme run by ActivLives in Ipswich and the surrounding area.
If you would like to find out more about the EverydayActiv programme and how to get involved, please contact ActivLives on 01473 345350 or have a look at the website at www.activlives.org.uk.