Special Olympics provision in Suffolk continues to grow following the introduction of a new weekly Boccia opportunity.
The new Inclusive Boccia Club takes place on Tuesdays at Gainsborough Sports Centre from 4:30pm to 6pm and is open to newcomers and complete beginners from the age of 14 years upwards.
Boccia is a Paralympic sport played indoors with soft leather balls and is described as ‘a sport of intriguing tactics, incredible skill and nail-biting tension’.
Special Olympics provides sporting opportunities for people with learning/intellectual disabilities. Together with the Olympics and Paralympics, it is the third and only other recognised organisation within the ‘Olympic family’.
Each year, across England, Scotland and Wales, Special Olympics provides around 27,000 regular sports coaching sessions across 28 different sports. This coaching activity leads to an annual average of 100 all ability, inclusive sports competitions.
Its competition pathways make Special Olympics Great Britain unique within the disability sports sector as it provides, for athletes of all abilities, opportunities to compete and progress at local, regional, national and international level.
Special Olympics Suffolk is a community-based organisation, supported by Suffolk’s Most Active County Partnership and ActivLives, and run by volunteers. The organisation now provides opportunities in four sports – badminton, in association with ActivLives, gymnastics, in partnership with Waveney Gym Club, athletics, in conjunction with Orwell Panthers and Boccia.
The organisation hosted their third Special Olympics Eastern Region Badminton Tournament last Saturday in Ipswich with competitors from as far afield as the South Coast and the West of Scotland.
Terry McEntee, chair of Special Olympics Suffolk, said “Until recently, Suffolk was one of only four counties in the country not to have a Special Olympics club. Thanks to the hard work of a band of dedicated volunteers we now have opportunities available in four sports and athletes that have gone on to participate in competitions across the region, country and, also, internationally. Through our activities we aim to improve the quality of daily life for people with learning disabilities, and their families, through the power of sport.”
Cllr James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, said “everybody should have equal opportunity to be active and to benefit from an active lifestyle. Sadly, this is not always the case, so any activities that widen access to sport and physical activity are to be welcomed. I am really pleased to see Special Olympics provision in Suffolk expanding.”
To find out more about the Boccia session contact Mike on 01473 345350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.