Prince Arthur Road Indoor Bowls Club BOCCIA CLUB
BOCCIA IS A SPORT FOR ALL
Our Boccia Club was set up in May 2011 with initial financial assistance from Medway Council and runs at The Prince Arthur Road Indoor Bowls Club, which is a Community Sports Club in Gillingham. The Boccia club is run entirely by volunteers and is a member of Boccia England (BE).
Boccia is a Paralympic sport but our club is open to anyone, disabled or not, to come along to play our seated game (to ensure every player is on a level pegging). Each game consists of up to 6 players in 2 teams, red and blue, and the aim of the game is to get the bowls near the jack. In this way it is very similar to the game of indoor bowls, but differs in that the jack can be anywhere on the proscribed rink. The team that does not have a bowl closest to the jack has to play until they get one of their balls closer to the jack.
We are open every Saturday morning between 10.30 and 1.00 except on the 1st Saturday of each month. We have approximately 30 members of whom 12-16 attend every week, and we welcome anyone wishing to try the game, any age from 7 to 100. Many of our members are disabled but we do have able-bodied friends and family playing as well. Members in wheelchairs play on protected areas of the Bowling Green and have access via ramps. Playing ramps are also provided for those members who need them.
We have a BE registered team of players called the Boccia Knights who have competed in several county and national competitions, and came first in the Kent League last year, but dropped to third this year. We have 3 BE trained referees, two of whom regularly go to BE competitions.
We have supported the Boccia Knights by fundraising to pay their travel and accommodation costs at competitions further afield.
We charge a small fee of £2.50 per adult and £1 for children under 16 to play. We are a very friendly club and members like to socialize during the tea break.
Our club supports Medway Council at their Disability Youth Summer Games and their Disability Sport Open Day events every year and has also been involved in other events in the County. In the short time since the Club started we have assisted 3 Duke of Edinburgh Award seekers through an organized programme of training, and reporting back on their progress, as part of their qualification process.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
We would like to buy the Boccia Knights Team 2 sets of soft Boccia Balls, which are more suitable for competitions in Sports Halls than the ones we currently use on the indoor Bowling Green carpet. The cost of these is approximately £250 - £300 per set.
The new Boccia Balls will considerably enhance their chances of winning in Boccia England competitions.
The Boccia Knights team has currently 7 BE registered members and it is hoped that success will encourage more members to join our Club, and eventually the Boccia Knights team(s).
"If members of your club or group are looking for a new challenge; a sport to get involved in; or simply somewhere to play Boccia; then come along on a Saturday morning. You will be sure of a warm welcome.
Malcolm Clark Co-founder of Prince Arthur Rd Boccia Club"