Charlie’s Column – The sport for me

by Handymag

I’ve never been a fan of winter. The bitterness of the weather makes my arthritis ten times worse. Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this, the cold weather will have disappeared and been replaced by spring. Because I for one can’t wait any longer!

This month I’d thought I’d focus on something that I enjoy, keeps me active, and is perfect for those with disabilities – although everyone can play.

Boccia is a Paralympic sport with no Olympic equivalent but is similar to bowls. It is a target sport which tests both muscle control and accuracy.

The main aim is to get your balls the closest to the white ball that is thrown at the start of each match. Think Bowls but with softer balls and no standing up and anyone can participate. I’d highly recommend it. But that’s just me!

When I was still at secondary school in Pickering, I took part in Boccia at the Sainsbury’s School Games.
It was quite a challenge as I was, at that time, still anxious about going places I didn’t know. With the moral support of my school worker, I was able to get into the zone and enjoy myself, not letting anything get in the way. I played the tournament twice, winning a silver and gold. Boccia was a revelation. I had finally found a sport I could take part in without getting breathless and exhausted. I finally felt at home. And I feel like that every time I take part.

On the Boccia England website, there’s a quote from sportswriter Simon Barnes that says, “It’s the heart and soul of the Paralympic Games, or of all sport. You haven’t seen sport till you’ve seen Boccia.”

There are new Scarboccia’s Boccia sports sessions starting at Pickering Memorial Hall on Wednesday’s from 11am to 1pm. Able-bodied or disabled, why not give it a go?

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