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18 March 2024

The Boccia Tournament

3 teams

by Suzanne Green, Inclusive Communications Officer

Recently, I was delighted to attend the Boccia Tournament held at Wallace Court. This tournament came about thanks to Mark, one of the residents there.

I have been supporting Mark and his friends in Wallace Court at a weekly communication group along with staff member Liz, their communication champion. The group came to a Have Your Say meeting way back in February last year and at this meeting, Mark spoke up using his PODD communication book.

He invited everyone at the meeting to come and have a Boccia competition with him. Boccia is a sport similar to bowls, and was designed for disabled people to play. Currently, it's contested at elite levels and we have a lot of fans of the sport in Capability Scotland!

A few months down the line, we still had not organised anything and by this point, Mark had now progressed to using a communication aid. It was with his communication aid he reminded the group about the Boccia. Mark and his friends (also fellow teammates), Ruth, Fiona and Steven, all recorded a video to appeal to other services to take part in the Boccia Tournament. We put this on Viva Engage, and Mark also wrote an article for Connect, our customer magazine. We were delighted when Junction 52 and Corseford College accepted the invitation! A couple of other services did show interest but logistically the distance between services made it difficult.

So now with competitors to play against, the team began weekly practice sessions in preparation for the big event. Kate Lock, our Improvement and Quality Manager, kindly bought a trophy for the winning team (and we named the tournament after her!).

The excitement was building towards the big day, and it finally happened in January. Wallace Court was absolutely buzzing with excitement and with the trophy proudly displayed everyone was there to win!
We even had an international referee to take charge of the game. Matthew Hall, a Student Support Worker, is an international referee and has been involved in games around the world. So, no cheating was going to happen!
We welcomed the team from Junction 52 (Christine, Derek, Katie and Willie) and the team from Corseford College (Lauren, Ali, Calvin and Lewis).

3 teamsThe tournament kicked off with all the residents and staff from Wallace Court cheering everyone on. The matches were close, the excitement was building to see who would lift the trophy. In the end, Corseford College were worthy winners and their faces as they held the trophy said it all. Watching the responses of the players when they hit a good shot or missed was incredible. The joy of playing against other services was clear for all to see.

ChampionsThe event proved to be a huge success and the guys are hoping to make this an annual charity-wide tournament.
A big thank you to Gillian Connelly and her team at Wallace Court for hosting the event and making everyone so welcome. Everyone was even invited to stay for lunch, so a truly lovely event bringing people together.

I hear Corseford College went on to the pub to celebrate their win. The trophy will be up for grabs again next year. Will we have more teams entering and will Corseford College retain their title?

I can honestly say this was one of the most enjoyable events I have been to in a long time and hope it continues.

Boccia TableCan you help support exciting experiences like this tournament? Any support you can give goes a long way - donate by clicking here.