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Boccia bowls can be played in any hall or large room, by anyone, whatever their ability. Boccia has been a popular Paralympic sport since 1974 and can be played for fun, or at an intensely competitive level needing accuracy and skill. Shropshire RCC’s Wise and Well Team helps to start new local Boccia Clubs, supports local leagues, organises the annual County Cup, provides training for referees and provides sets of Boccia bowls for purchase.
Boccia (to rhyme with Gotcha!) is a form of indoor bowls, similar to the French Petanque or Boules, played from a seated position, on a court the size of a badminton court. Boccia balls are soft, like large juggling balls, so they do not damage the floor. Teams of up to 3 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 (no mats required) and is easy to learn.
The Wise & Well Team would like to encourage Boccia clubs to start in village halls and community centres all over Shropshire. Once a few clubs are established in an area, they can start playing each other in mini-leagues and make friends with their neighbours. So far, Shropshire RCC has set up at least 40 local clubs around Shropshire.
The Wise and Well team organised the first Shropshire Boccia County Tournament in 2013, and it has grown in size since then.
This year's (2016) Shropshire Boccia Tournament was our biggest yet. Teams from across the county competed, including teams from sheltered housing schemes and day centres; general social groups and groups of friends. Shropshire RCC’s own Musketeers and Maidens - a social group for adults with physical disabilities - competed, as did teams from our Sight Loss Opportunity Groups in Oswestry and Shrewsbury. The event was refereed by students from the various Shropshire colleges at which the Heats took place.
Competition was fierce in this extremely tactical game but great fun was had by all and our congratulations go to the Whitefriars Fillies from Ludlow who won the Gold Medals and the County cup!
Many local groups (village halls, Senior Citizens’ clubs, sheltered housing schemes etc) have adopted Boccia as a regular activity. It is fun, sociable and keeps everyone involved. If your local group would like to try playing Boccia, please ask the Wise & Well Team to come and play a demonstration match with you so that you and your friends can have a go.
Alternatively, contact the Wise and Well team to find out where your nearest existing Boccia club meets and you can go along to try it.
Be a Boccia Champion! We are looking for volunteers to help start local Boccia Clubs in village halls and community buildings throughout Shropshire. Full training provided.
Please contact Susie on Susie.firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on 01743 342160.