For people like myself who are not going to Rio this is arguably the main event of the season.
On Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 July Surrey University was the venue for the GB Boccia Championships. Scotland had eight players competing in Guilford.
Friday 22 July
The majority of the athletes made their own way to Guilford by car, but for the rest of us it was a very start to catch a 7am flight. Once we arrived we had some free time before we had to be at the venue where the players had the chance to train on the competition courts. Also the players had to go through equipment check – this is when their boccia balls and any other equipment that they will take onto court with them are put through some tests to make sure everything meets BISFed standards. After all that it was back to the hotel for dinner and a very long day was finished off with a coaches’ meeting.
Saturday 23 July
Day one of competition started on Saturday with the pool games and my role was to coach/assist world champion and Rio-bound Stephen McGuire who competes in the BC4 class. I went into the call up room with Stephen to make sure he had everything he needed and made sure he was focussed and ready before he went out onto court. Also I gave him feedback on his matches about what he done well and what he might have to work on for his next match. It was a very positive day for Stephen as he won all his matches on day one. It was back to the hotel for dinner and another meeting ahead of day two.
Sunday 24 July
Again on day two I was working with Stephen and his first game on Sunday was his final pool game against fellow Scottish and GB player Jamie Docherty. It was great to be in call-up with two other Scots as Jamie had BC4 Scottish Coach Jennifer Livingstone in the call- up room with him (I felt a wee bit of pressure as Jennifer is also my line manager). Stephen and Jamie had a great match with Stephen coming out on top and going into the semi-final against GB team mate Evie Edwards. It was a very close match with Stephen just winning by one point. In the final it was another all-GB and all-Scot match-up as Stephen took on Kieran Steer. It was a very professional performance by Stephen; Kieran tried to fight all the way but McGuire stormed to victory to take gold leaving Steer with silver.