Sheffield to host Boccia England Cup Finals

Sheffield will host the Boccia England Cup Finals at the English Institute of Sport this weekend.

Around 180 players have entered across eight regional competitions and the best 40 have progressed to the final stages this weekend.

The first rounds will take place on Saturday before a champion is crowned on Sunday afternoon.

Boccia shares similarities to bowls and offers a route into sport for disabled people.  

Rachel Crack, Competition Development Officer for Boccia England, said: “Members really value being able to be part of something. Some players are severely disabled and it is their only interest and a chance to get out the house sometimes.

“The sport is not just important physically but for mental wellbeing. It helps with social interactions and speaking to other people.”

The sport test tests muscle control and accuracy as each player has six balls, which players they  must propel towards a target ball – the jack.

A point is awarded to the player with the closest ball, with an additional point for each ball closer to the jack than any of the opponent’s balls.

Boccia became a Paralympic sport in 1984 and is now practiced in 50 countries worldwide.

Domestically, interest in the sport has soared since the London 2012 Paralympic games and Boccia England are planning to increase participation even further across the country.

Ms Crack said: “We have managed to keep our same funding level from Sport England and we have plans to setup more clubs and competitions in new areas.”

Charlie McGrath

Journalism student at the University of Sheffield.

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