Boccia England

News

Competition review – Survey now OPEN!

Help us to shape the future of Boccia England competitions by completing our online survey here

This survey is part of our consultation with members and stakeholders to review our competitions. We are carrying out this review to consider ways to improve what we offer to our players, and future players. We would like to hear from as many people as possible, whether you are new to boccia or have been involved in the sport for years.

If you complete the short survey and enter the prize draw, there is the chance to win a Handilife set of balls.

The survey closes on Friday 7th December so please let us know your thoughts.

Look out for our volunteer competition review champions, helping us to encourage conversations around how we can improve our competitions and asking people to get involved in the consultation process – completing the survey, and taking part in the discussions on our social media. It is great to have our champions on board.

For any questions about our competition review, please email competition@bocciaengland.org.uk

Join our Board!

The Boccia England Board is recruiting another member (independent or BE Member) and we would love to hear from anyone over the age of 18 years who has sporting (ideally boccia) experience and/or marketing/communcations or legal knowledge.

The Board meets formally on a quarterly basis, with a mixture of virtual and face to face meetings.

As a Board Director you will be expected to:

  • show commitment and act as an Ambassador for the organisation by attending meetings and ad hoc Boccia England competitions

  • use your knowledge to provide insight and guidance on how Boccia England can deliver its strategic aims, ensuring an excellent experience for all those involved.

The full Board Director profiles can be found here.

Above all, we want to hear from people who are able to make a positive contribution to the development of our sport and bring new ideas and insight to our Board.
We positively welcome applications from people from diverse backgrounds and with disabilities.

If you think you have the suitable skills and attributes for this role then we would like to hear from you.

To apply, please email your CV and a cover letter outlining your relevant knowledge and experience, and what you could bring to our Board to office@bocciaengland.org.uk, or post to Head of Business Support, Boccia England, 8 Heathcoat Buildings, Nottingham Science Park, Nottingham, NG7 2QJ.

Closing date: 27 November 2018

ETP Teams and Pairs 2018/19

Preparation is underway for the 2018/19 Teams and Pairs Competition.

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Following the success of last seasons competition the ETP Teams and Pairs has been included in this seasons competition schedule. This competition provides an excellent opportunity for the athletes within the five academies and the England Performance Group (EPG) athletes to showcase their skills and look to impress the EPG Performance Coaches which could lead to a trial with and possible inclusion in the EPG.

Not only will the teams and pairs be vying to be the best in their respective competitions: the BC3 Pairs will be looking to claim the Rachel Morgan Memorial Trophy from last year’s winners Ce Turk and Cameron Coxall from the Scorpions Academy; and everybody will be accruing points throughout the day for their academy to get their hands on the Academy Trophy which was also claimed last year by the Scorpions Academy.

Rachel Morgan Trophy Winners

A roundup of events from the 2017/18 competition can be found here, and click here for event details.

Boccia England Supporting BISFed Coach Development

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Boccia England staff member, Matt Kendrick recently qualified as a BISFed International Coach Educator, and has just delivered a Level 1 Coaches course in Lima, Peru on behalf of BISFed. Coaches attended from all over South America, helping grow our sport and develop coaches all over the world.

This formed part of the Agitos Foundation ‘Road to Lima 2019’ programme, in preparation for the Parapan American Games. Find out more about the programme here.

The UK Workforce Development Group developed coach education courses which are successfully delivered throughout the UK. More recently the BISFed Development Committee adapted these courses for delivery internationally.

Heathcoat Cup Liverpool

Heathcoat Cups newest location Liverpool went off in true style on Saturday! Delivered in partnership with Greenbank Sports Academy and supported by the World Championships Legacy project, the competition provided an opportunity for local BC1 - BC8 boccia players.

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Congratulations to the following medallists:

BC1 (1 qualifier)

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Gold - Gabby Hughes (Qualifies for Heathcoat Cup Finals 2019)

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Silver - Stuart Meredith

BC2 (1 qualifier)

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Gold - Winnie Cork (BC6) (Qualifies for Heathcoat Cup Finals 2019)

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Silver - Rachel Wilson

BC3 (1 qualifier)

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Gold - John Smith (Qualifies for Heathcoat Cup Finals 2019)

BC5 (2 qualifiers)

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Gold - Joel Murphy BC6(Qualifies for Heathcoat Cup Finals 2019)

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Silver - Lyndsey Gallagher (Qualifies for Heathcoat Cup Finals 2019)

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Bronze - Charles Hardisty BC6

BC6 (3 qualifiers)

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Gold - Jack Wilding(Qualifies for Heathcoat Cup Finals 2019)

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Silver - Nick Brown (Qualifies for Heathcoat Cup Finals 2019)

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Bronze - David Burns (Qualifies for Heathcoat Cup Finals 2019)

BC8 (1 qualifier)

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Gold - Neil Pitchford(Qualifies for Heathcoat Cup Finals 2019)

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Silver - Adam Johnson

A special thanks to all the volunteers that helped on the day.
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There are still five more Heathcoat Cup competitions to come this season and you can now enter through our NEW Boccia Base! Open to BC1 - BC8 players, for more information contact info@bocciaengland.org.uk

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2017-2018 Highlights

As we finalise our annual report and accounts, we took a look at the year gone by and what we achieved. We are proud and delighted to say that great progress has been made against our mission.

Highlights include:

  • 4.4% increase in participation
  • 730 people trained across 59 courses
  • Achieving advanced level of CPSU Safeguarding standards
  • Increasing our reach via social media
  • Establishing the Skills Award, engaging with 240 young people
  • Implementing a UK-wide player pathway with Boccia UK

Check out our infographic summary of 2017-18 here.

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Hundreds celebrate National Boccia Day 2018

Hundreds of people joined in with National Boccia Day on Thursday 27th September. Boccia clubs, schools, businesses and charities celebrated Boccia through a range of boccia fests and activities.

We weren’t able to include all of the fantastic activities here but Boccia England would like to thank each and everyone of you who got involved on the day and promoted our fantastic sport.

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Leeds IM Boccia Club got the day off to a fantastic start with a boccia fest including our youngest National Boccia Day supporter.

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Irwin Mitchell offices across the country took part in lunch time boccia sessions.

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Sheffield Smashers celebrated all the reasons they loved boccia throughout the day.

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Victoria Boccia Club and Livability Victoria Education Centre took part in activities throughout the day.

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More Boccia fests were held by Sports Able, YMCA Surrey, The Brain Charity and Wandsworth School Games.

Throughout the day players, coaches and supporters of Boccia also took to social media to tell the world why they love the sport. We have included some of the fantastic reasons here.

“I love Boccia because it gives me the opportunities to compete at the top level on equal terms with my opponents. It has also shaped who I am as a person by improving my independence, my work ethic and my self-awareness. Without Boccia I wouldn’t have met my Wife.”
David Smith, BC1 Paralympic and World Champion.

“I love boccia because it enables me to compete in a game I love and socialise with friends”
Debbie Carlsberg, Boccia Player.

“I love Boccia because it is a true inclusive sport, anyone can play it whatever their age and ability”
Viviene Lathbury, Boccia Volunteer.

“I love boccia because it has given me opportunities I never thought I would get to experience. It has made me into the coach I am today, allowed me to represent my country in Russia with an awesome England squad. I have met some amazing people and above all else met my best friends”
Rio Jade, Boccia Coach.

“I love Boccia because it’s helped to stabilise my son’s DMD, it’s allowed him to achieve and for us to travel to many Countries and meet many people from around the World who have become very good friends. Boccia is my life, my passion.”
Michelle Thompson, Boccia Parent.

Planning for National Boccia Day 2019 is already underway with plans for a new social media campaign, a National Boccia Day challenge and a pack of freebies for those getting involved. The day will be held on Friday 27th September 2019. Look out for the launch of National Boccia Day 2019 in the spring.

Scottish Open Championships 2018

England’s finest BC1, 2 and 3 Boccia athletes met their Scottish, Welsh and Irish counterparts at the weekend at a new and exciting individuals competition run by Mark Gaffney and his team at Scottish Disability Sport.

A squad of six travelled from all over the nation to fly the St George flag during the day-long event Edinburgh’s Engage Centre. Lewis Fisher and Lee Maddison came from just over the border in the Newcastle area; Rich Amos from the midlands, Reshad Saraj from London and Jabe Peake, Tia Ruel and Matt Berry came from the south and south east regions.
Keen to start the new season off with successes in the BC1,2 & 3 categories our EPG representatives were there looking smart and ready to go in their navy blue kit at 7.45am. So ready were they, in fact, that they arrived and formed an orderly queue outside - even before the building was open!

Once inside, the day began promisingly for our BC3s as Amos, Berry, Fisher and Maddison were first on. And if that first round of this well-run competition is anything to go by it’s going to be a great year of Boccia for England as all four athletes were on consecutive courts at the same time, taking a line of wins 15-0, 10-1, 16-0, 13-1 respectively.

Carrying on the winning streak, Peake and Saraj went upbeaten throughout the day in three matches a piece to secure gold in their BC1 and BC2 round robin events. Both are pleased with topping their groups – and international titles - and hope to maintain the momentum throughout the season.

It was an out of sorts day for Ruel, one of five females at the competition, who struggled with a few equipment issues on the day that will most certainly be mended by the next competitive fixture.

Busy as ever in the BC3s, our lads were split into two groups that brought equal amounts of highs and lows. Maddison and Amos just missed out on group qualification with Berry and Fisher performing immaculately to top their pools. They went on to the play-offs where they won gold and bronze respectively in exciting ball-for-ball matches against the likes of GB’s Patrick Wilson.

Boccia England’s Talent Manager Matt Kendrick, who flew to Edinburgh to be a part of the squad’s support team, said: "Great to see such strong performances across all of our represented classes early in the season. The athletes showed their class against the home country and Boccia UK opposition to take several medals. This will set the athletes up will for the coming season and I look forward to them continuing this momentum in the upcoming domestic competition Pathway."

Mark Gaffney, Opportunities and Events Manager, Scottish Disability Sport, who engineered the Invitational following a disappointing cancellation of the Scottish Open, was pleased with this replacement event:
“We put together a packed programme so thank you to you all – players, coaches, supporters, parents – for making it a great day. There was some fine play on the courts today and it was fantastic to see you all. We look forward to welcoming you to the teams and pairs competition next year.”

Photos of the event can be found here

Recruitment of volunteer competition review champions

We need YOU to help us improve our competitions!

We know that competition is important to our members and players. Findings from our members survey show players are motivated by winning, being with friends, and feeling like they are improving.

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We want to make sure that the competitions we provide are the best they can be, so this season Boccia England will be undertaking an in-depth review of our competitions to consider areas for improvement. During the consultation process we want to gather feedback, ideas and suggestions from all those involved in boccia and boccia competitions whether they are a player (who competes regularly or who is yet to take part in a competition), coaches, officials, parents and carers, and other key stakeholders. We will be reviewing the competitions we run, which include:

  • Heathcoat Cup

  • The BE Cup

  • The National League

  • The Super League

  • Teams and Pairs

  • Schools competition (in conjunction with the Lord’s Taverners)

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We also want to capture what people love about boccia competitions they take part in at a local level outside of our competitions.

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To enable us to gather as much feedback as possible, we are recruiting a number of individuals as Volunteer Competition Review Champions. These champions will help us to reach more people at a local level, encouraging them to feed in to the consultation process. You will help to stimulate discussion within our review forum (to be hosted on Boccia England’s Facebook page), signpost people to the online survey (available in November), and encourage people to share their thoughts through the consultation process.

If you would like to be considered as a volunteer competition review champion, please download the role description and complete the online expression of interest form. The deadline for submitting your interest is Sunday 21st October.

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Membership Season 2018/19 is now open!

Over the summer we have been busy working on our new membership & events portal- Boccia Base! This new platform is now live and members new and existing can now buy membership for the new season: 1 October 2018- 30 September 2019. Membership fees and benefits remain the same as last season.

Club Individual membership can only be purchased by the club lead, please contact your club lead if you wish to renew/purchase your club individual membership at £5 per person.

Login/Register here

The staff team here at Boccia England are all very excited about Boccia Base and you should be too! The new platform will be easier for you to use, whether you have a basic profile in order to receive our newsletter or are a full member booking on to events.

Boccia Base will allow you to update yours and any of your elected individuals’ details, plus you can manage your qualifications, classifications and volunteering roles, allowing all your boccia information to be in one place and easily accessible and manageable.

In addition, we will be launching the events module of Boccia Base on Monday 8th October so those of you wanting to register for the competitions can do so then.

There will be a period of adjustment and learning with Boccia Base and we really appreciate your patience over the next few weeks. The Platform has a support feature with handy FAQs and self help guides so please use this feature which, if it doesn’t answer your query, will send us an email to look into the query for you.