[Claire Morrison] Boccia is a sport that was specifically designed initially for people with cerebral palsy. It’s a throwing game
similar to French boules or petanque, which is designed for people with really severe
disabilities. In terms of the inclusivity of boccia, it’s fantastic because everyone
plays from the seated position so you can have able-bodied players sitting down next
to their disabled peers, and playing a game of boccia. And it is all about hand-eye coordination
so it helps develop the skills of everybody, not just those who have got a disability.
And the really good thing is it breaks it down into four classes in terms of the competitive
element. You’ve got the BC4s who are players who throw who have got muscular dystrophy,
you’ve got the BC3s which are the players with cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
who ramp, so they don’t have the ability to throw. And then you’ve got the BC1s and BC2s
who are players with cerebral palsy who can throw. If they’re more severely affected they’ll
be a BC1, if they’re slightly less severely affected they’ll be a BC2.
[Stephen McGuire] My name’s Stephen McGuire and I play boccia for GB and Scotland. Boccia,
no matter what your level of ability is, or disability, you’re able to compete and compete
on a fair level. I’ve gained mainly the physical benefits of it. Through my condition, which is a degenerative condition, it’s helped me stabilise my condition quite a lot, and maintain
it to a certain level where my life has become easier in general.
[Claire] Boccia’s a very popular sport because it gives a competitive option for people who
have got a severe disability, who are often left out of a lot of sports because they can’t
compete. So this gives people the chance to become professional athletes, to travel the
world, and compete for their country, for the guys at that level. For the guys who are
just playing it for fun, you know, it’s a highly skilled sport, so you’ve actually got
to be very good at it in terms of getting the ball as close to the jack as possible.
It’s a real challenge. If you want to get involved in boccia, the best thing to do is
speak to your local school, or, if you’re a teacher at a local school, get in touch
with your regional disability manager, or with Scottish Disability Sport directly, and
we can support you to do that, whether it’s lending you equipment, pointing you in the
right direction of your local club, or getting you along even to see one of our Scottish
squad sessions, or one of our competitions. So that that way we can give you all the tools
you need to get you started in the game.