Parasport Festivals are days run by Scottish Disability Sport to give young people the chance to try out different sports. The idea of the days is to encourage the young people to take up new sports and hopefully progress through the performance pathway.
Recently I have delivered boccia sessions at some Parasport Festivals in three different regions: West, Tayside and East of Scotland. My main aim was to try and get new players playing and interested in boccia and if possible try and find the next Stephen McGuire – World Champion!
West Parasport Festival
The West Parasport Festival took place on Friday 10 March where I delivered two sessions at Ravenscraig Sports Centre – one session for wheelchair users and one session for people with visual impairments. The wheelchair user session went really well with the young people working on their skills before playing a game of boccia. We hope to see all the players back on a boccia court and hopefully progressing through the pathway. The visual impairment session was set up in the same way and the young people seemed to really enjoy the session and were keen to play more boccia. I’m going to be going into Uddingston Grammar to work with the pupils with a visual impairment to try and grow the sport in the country.
Tayside Parasport Festival
Dundee and Angus college was the venue for the Tayside Parasport Festival on Wednesday 15 March. The boccia session was for wheelchair users and the young people had the chance to practice their skills and for some a chance to try a new sport. Once the skills had been practiced, the young people then had the chance to play a match against Paralympian Joshua Rowe. The players were desperate to beat Josh and hopefully if they continue to play boccia they’ll manage to beat someone of that high level one day.
East Parasport Festival
The East Parasport Festival was held at Forrester High School on Friday 24 March and I was leading the boccia session with the support of the East of Scotland Boccia Club coaches. We had 11 participants and they were encouraged by Paralympic boccia player Patrick Wilson. I’m sure we’ll see a future Paralympian from the East in the future.
I would like to thank:
- The Regional Managers at SDS for running great festivals
- Volunteers and Coaches for leading the sessions
- Josh Rowe and Patrick Wilson for supporting the festivals