Disabled bowls game gets a boost as development scheme launched
Boccia beginners can become world-class competitors within six months thanks to a new skills programme developed by Boccia New Zealand.
The game is similar to lawn bowls or petanque and involves seated athletes with physical disabilities throwing, kicking or using a ramp to propel six leather balls as close as possible to a jack.
Clubs in central Auckland include the Onehunga Boccia Club and IRIS Boccia in Fowlds Park.
The free FUNdamental skills programme is designed for anyone with a physical disability and is being introduced nationwide.
Boccia New Zealand director Luke Morriss has been working on the programme for the past six months. It contains a three-level checklist that participants can work through at their own pace to gain bronze, silver and gold awards.
‘‘Boccia is a Paralympic sport that tests each competitor’s degree of muscle control and accuracy and can be played almost anywhere,’’ he says.
The programme provides a clear pathway to achievement for players, Mr Morriss says.
By completing the awards programme, participants can gain the skills necessary to compete in international competitions within six months.
The game can be enjoyed by anyone, he says.
‘‘It has grown to be more than just a pastime. Whether people are playing for fun or at a competitive level, Boccia provides a much needed sporting and social pathway for the disabled. We are excited about this programme as it provides a structured pathway from grassroots through to high performance.’’
Stepping up: A new boccia programme is providing pathways for athletes from beginner level to high performance.
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