Sheffield Mencap & Gateway is holding an inclusive Boccia tournament during Learning Disability Week, welcoming teams from local businesses, sports clubs and disability groups.
The tournament will take place on Wednesday 19 June and will bring together people with and without a learning disability for a fun and competitive day of sport.
Teams include two local Boccia clubs, the Sheffield Smashers and Mavericks Boccia Club both with members with a range of disabilities, including autism, hearing, visual and physical impairments. They will join competitors from Irwin Mitchell, Switalskis Solicitors and the Sheffield Steel Kings para ice hockey club, to compete for the winners’ trophy.
Boccia, which is a Paralympic sport, is similar to crown green bowling however all players are seated which makes it an accessible game for people with a variety of disabilities.
Held in conjunction with Royal Mencap, the tournament is part of a series of ‘Here we are local events’ designed to promote greater inclusion for people with learning disabilities through sport.
The event is taking place during national Learning Disability Week (17-23 June) and is part of a wider programme of work by Sheffield Mencap & Gateway to increase sport and activity amongst people with learning disabilities. This includes our female and male football teams, regular walking trips and its weekly Fitness Fanatics group.
Project Leader and tournament organiser Aaron Firth commented:
“We are really excited to be hosting the Boccia tournament here at Sheffield Mencap & Gateway and are delighted by the uptake from local sports groups and businesses, some of which are new to Boccia. We have actually organised a few training sessions for these competitors so they can get to grips with the basics before the competition!
“Through our football teams and fitness groups, we have seen the difference that taking part in sport makes to people with learning disabilities. It’s not just about physical health but feeling included does so much for people’s confidence and happiness. We hope this event will show what opportunities there are for people with and without learning and physical disabilities to come together and enjoy sport.”
Sheffield Mencap & Gateway’s Boccia Tournament will take place at Norfolk Lodge on Park Grange Road on Wednesday 19 June from 11am. Spectators are welcome to go and watch the event and entry is free of charge. To find out more, call 0114 276 7757 or email AaronFirth@sheffieldmencap.org.uk.