Can Do Boccia tournament rolls into Manchester

2 July 2018

Can Doer taking part in BocciaLast week was National Sports Week and at Leonard Cheshire, we know how to celebrate. Young people from across the Pennines battled it out in a Boccia tournament in Dukinfield.

The all-girl Boccia team from Alt Bridge School, Huyton bossed the Boccia games and took the crown last Wednesday.

Boccia is an inclusive sport similar to Boules, designed to make the playing field equal for everyone.

We caught up with the Can Do Boccia coach Jacob Meaton, Director of DoSportUK to give us some insider info on why Boccia is better for everyone.

How did you start out in sport?

I studied Sport at University during this time I started to work voluntarily within Disability Sport and got into wheelchair basketball, and then Boccia.

I started coaching Boccia five or six years ago. Since starting DOSportUK we have set up a new club in Glossop, and we work in schools and local communities.

DOSportUK is a small company, I’m the only full time staff member, we rely on Volunteers to help us out as much as they can!

How did you get involved with Leonard Cheshire?

Not very long, Sandra Hardingham got in touch with us just before Christmas with her Can Do group in Manchester.

Since then we have worked with and/or spoken with Fiona (Merseyside) and Anna (Yorkshire).

It’s great to get to know about what’s going on at Leonard Cheshire and in the community to make those connections.

What advice can you give people who want to get into Boccia?

Look on the Boccia England website and it’ll suggest clubs based on your area where you can participate, and give you the knowledge to set up a session yourself.

You can even speak with the team at Boccia England who’ll give you time and guidance to answer any queries you have.

Everyone goes to Boccia clubs for different things, some people like to go for the social side of things and others prefer to be competitive so there’s something for everyone.

Do you have any tips and tricks for our supporters who are avid Boccia fans?

I’d say the more you play the easier it becomes. When you’re playing, take your time. Also, remind people to take their time to move the chair or static chair and look where the Boccia ball is.

My one tip for people coaching for Boccia: if you have a group of mixed abilities use your imagination, keep it fun and exciting, keep chopping and changing to make it interesting.

How can people find out more about DoSportUK?

Check out our website! We have created pathways for people with learning disabilities such as basketball and we train on a competitive and higher level.

Two of the people we train with have been selected for Abu Dhabi in the United Emirates for the Special Olympics so that’s very exciting.

We’re based in Glossop but we’re happy to give advice further afield if you want to set up and run your own Boccia session.

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