Meet some York super league stars.
Founded in 2015 Jorvik Boccia entered their first regional league just over a year ago, and after winning the Yorkshire Region were triumphant in going on to win the Boccia England National Community League in July 2016.
This saw them promoted to the Boccia England Super League – a competition for the top six teams in the country. And they are looking for new players.
Boccia (pronounced bot-cha) is an indoor game of strategy and skill, and is similar to boules or bowls.
Athletes are seated and throw, kick or roll the balls onto the court, or if they are unable to hold a ball use a ramp, with the help of an assistant who sits with their back to the game.
The field of play is similar in size to a badminton court, a white jack ball is set and then each player, or team, propel their six red or six blue coloured balls to get closest to the jack.
All the athletes have a physical disability, some have classifications that could lead them to becoming future paralympians. A common theme for members is that this is a sport they can do, whatever their level of disability.
Club members train come from across Yorkshire and the North East to train in York. The club is open to any player with a physical disability, from beginners to those who dream of being at a future Paralympics.
The club meets regularly at Burnholme Sports Hub in York and all sessions are led by qualified coaches, training and equipment is provided. New players age eight and over are welcome.
Beth is at the University of York, and has been playing for 13 years and has represented England as a BC1 thrower. Due to a change in her circumstances she is now competing using a ramp as a BC3 player.
“I didn’t realise I was competitive until I played boccia when I was 10,” Beth said.
“Until then I had never been able to join in any sport at my primary school. My cerebral palsy is no longer an obstacle to playing competitively, both individually and in the team.”
Alfie, now aged 11, was introduced to boccia at the age of eight. Alfie has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is a BC4 thrower.
He said: “Boccia reminds me that I’m as good as sport as my friends, it’s just that I play a very different sport.
“Boccia makes me active, I could actually be in the paralympics and even though I sometimes wish I could play sports like football or rugby I wouldn’t go to such a high level with them.
“Boccia gives me a focus when I feel upset.”
Alfie is through to the national finals in his classification.