September 2019 – Boccia England

In September 2019, Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation donated a small grant of £2,500 to Boccia England. Genevieve Glover nominated the charity.

The funding allowed Boccia England to identify and develop talented athletes to their full potential across the country.

Despite the struggles of Covid 19, Boccia England was able to adapt and continue to meet the needs of its beneficiaries. Due to the funding, the following was made possible between 2019-2020.

Boccia England was able to fund the development of their coaches. Five coaches from their England Performance Group (EPG) participated in the Coach Advance Program. All their academy coaches could access inclusive coaching training (STEP) and write individual action plans for their athletes. Most Academy coaches and athletes had training around the physical aspects of a warm-up and movement around the call room (an essential part of their competition days). During the lockdown, they were also able to continue with their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) online, having an average of 15 coaches per session.

 

Knights Academy (Sheffield) training session
The EPG Camp November 2019

 

Boccia England has created competitive opportunities for players of all levels, with some attending UK competitions where the Wales and Scotland national teams provided competition for their EPG and Academy players. They held two Cups, the ‘Boccia England Cup’, which accommodates the Academy and the EPG players. They also hosted the ‘Heathcoat Cup’, which houses a broader range of players and individuals who have just started their boccia journey. During the pandemic, the competitions did not stop! Boccia was able to host their Rainbow Cup and Rainbow Cup Red online, with a 50% take-up from their England Talent Pathway (ETP) players.

 

 

Online Coach CPD course

A Rainbow Cup challenges completed at home by one of Boccia’s players

 

Boccia England is passionate about providing support to individuals who have the talent and aspiration to compete at a Paralympic level. With the funding we provided, one of the EPG athletes was transferred to the world-class programme to be selected for the Paralympics in the future. Furthermore, all Boccia England’s athletes have a personalised action plan and named coaches to cater for their individual goals.

 

Warm-up training session
Scottish International Open October 2019

 

Boccia England catered to the needs of their vulnerable players during the Covid-19 pandemic. They recognised that many of their players would fall into the highly vulnerable category. However, Boccia England could host social and professional interactions online with the grant. They could get access to training videos and have 1-to-1 coaching video chats. They interacted with other disability organisations worldwide to share knowledge and experiences. As the lockdown started to ease, Boccia England worked hard to try and get the training session back up and running, but in a covid-secure environment.

 

Overall, Boccia England has proven that even a small grant can go a long way. We are happy we could support Boccia England with such a wide variety of programs and wish them the best for the future.

For further information, please visit their website: https://www.bocciaengland.org.uk/.

By Ollie N’Jie