Boccia athletes are pride of town
‘LET ME win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.’
The Boccia team representing Scotland West certainly did that last week when they produced their best shots in the Ponds Forge Arena.
More than 1,200 athletes from Scotland, England and Wales participated in a series of hard-fought but friendly competitions in 20 sports at the Special Olympics in Sheffield.
The team from Lochgilphead, made up by Flora Currie, Campbell Ferguson and Iain Macdougall, alongside teams from Glasgow and Paisley made up the Scotland West Boccia Squad. And under the guidance of head coach John Gillies, ably assisted by coaches Mary Gillies and Karyn Mitchell from Paisley, they put on a show worthy of the Olympic ideal and standards expected at this level.
Tuesday August 8 and Wednesday August 9 saw the team compete in five different competitions where they all exceeded expectations, producing their best form at just the right time.
Wednesday night saw them through to the medal ceremony where Iain Macdougall won gold and Flora Currie won the bronze in their competition, and Campbell Ferguson took silver in his competition.
The other members from Glasgow and Paisley, who also had several joint training sessions with the Lochgilphead group, also achieved one silver, one bronze, a fourth and two fifths.
It was on Friday, however, at the end of a truly hard week, that the squad showed their skill, concentration and perseverance to pit their strengths against the best teams from Tayside, Dumfries, Yorkshire and Humberside, South East England, Northern Region, Greater London and the Midlands.
They held their nerve to get the highest squad medal tally of the day.
The three teams from the squad each competed in different competitions, coming away with the team gold, team silver and a very close team fourth narrowly missing out on the team bronze.
With a beaming smile Flora Currie summed it up for all the athletes when asked during an interview at the games what she liked best, her response was: ‘Absolutely everything.’
Flora Currie with her bronze medal, Iain Macdougall was delighted with his gold, and Campbell Ferguson with his silver medal and now traditional salute.