Shrewsbury College hosts BOCCIA championships

Shrewsbury College played host to Shropshire’s third annual BOCCIA, indoor-bowls championship finals earlier this month, in partnership with Shropshire Rural Community Charity (RCC).

Shropshire Rural Community Charity (RCC) has supported over 30 groups to develop BOCCIA. The Wise & Well Team provides preventative services to keep people safe and independent. This includes keeping older people and vulnerable adults active and socially engaged in their communities

Boccia is a Paralympic sport and can be played by anyone, whatever their disability. It is played from a seated position and is therefore an ideal game for older people with mobility issues. The balls are soft, so they do not damage the floor. Teams of up to three players try to throw or roll their balls to be as close to the jack ball as possible. The game has simple rules and equipment and is easy to learn. The Shropshire Boccia Tournament matches are played by teams with mixed abilities and impairments.

Shrewsbury College’s sports department has been hosting the championship finals since 2013 and the students studying the Higher Education course have taken an active role in assisting and umpiring the matches.

Curriculum Leader for Sport at the College, Jackie Swan, said: “Shropshire RCC approached us a few years ago to see if we would like to work in partnership with them. It’s a fantastic scheme that we are happy to be involved with, and it’s a great way for our students to interact with different members of the community.”

Most clubs play in the lounge of their Sheltered Housing Scheme or in village halls but the tournament required a full-sized sports halls, in order to allow all the matches to be played within a restricted time and so the facility at Shrewsbury College was chosen. 

Susie Hancock, Wise & Well team member, said: “The interaction between the students and older players has proved a highlight of the competition. The older people enjoy being refereed by young students and it is an eye-opener for most of the students to see how such a range of disabilities can be accommodated and also that many of the older players are keen competitors.

“The Boccia Tournament has increased in popularity year on year, with more and more teams taking part.  Shropshire RCC and Shrewsbury College both work hard to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the competitors in this successful partnership.”

This winners of this year’s tournament were team ‘Whitefriars Outsiders. ‘Stans Stars’ came in second and the ‘Musketeers & Maidens’ came in third.

For more information Shropshire RCC’s BOCCIA scheme, please click here. For more information about Sport courses at Shrewsbury College, please call 017423 342411  or come along to our Advice Evening on Thursday, 12 November, 5 – 8pm.

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