Belfast Telegraph

Boccia World Cup rolls into Jordanstown site

Five hundred athletes, coaches and officials will converge on the University of Ulster’s Jordanstown campus from August 18-26, for the CPISRA Boccia World Cup, a qualifying event for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The event which is the first pre games training tournament to be attracted to Northern Ireland, is being organised by the University of Ulster, Disability Sports NI and GB Boccia. The event is sanctioned by the international governing body for the sport CPISRA, and is being funded by UK Sport, Sport Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

This is the first time the event has been held in the UK or Ireland, and with over 500 athletes, coaches and officials spending ten days in Northern Ireland, it is thought the event will result in a cash injection of over £1million into the local economy.

This is a unique once in a lifetime opportunity to see the sport played at the highest competitive level.

Tickets will be available for ‘First’ and ‘Second’ sessions for each of the six days of competition. Tickets for the opening ceremony will be by invitation only.

Tickets are free of charge, and will be allocated to individuals & groups by Disability Sports NI on a first come first served basis.

To book your tickets contact Disability Sports NI at (028) 9038 7062; Textphone:(028) 9038 7064.

Boccia is a Paralympic sport designed specifically for athletes with high levels of disability, including people with cerebral palsy. It is one of only three Paralympic sports that does not have an Olympic counterpart. It is a target ball sport. The aim of the game is simple; to get your balls closer to the white target ball or ’jack’ than your opponent. It is one of the fastest growing Paralympic Sports in the world and is now played in over 50 countries including Northern Ireland.

A successful player needs the accuracy of a darts player, the geometric precision of a snooker star and the ability to plan several shots ahead like a chess Grandmaster.

The pinnacle of the sport is the Paralympic Games. There are three major Competitions in between Games that act as qualification events.

The Boccia World Cup, being held at Jordanstown is the last of these events and is the final opportunity for athletes to earn vital ranking points, required to qualify for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Kevin O’Neill, Director of Disability Sports NI explains: “The event will be a great spectacle and the fact it is being hosted in Northern Ireland will undoubtedly help raise public awareness of disability sport.’’

He added: “Over the last ten years we have worked hard at developing the sport of Boccia in Northern Ireland and as a result the sport is now widely played at a recreational level throughout the country by people with physical, sensory and learning disabilities.

“However the next stage is to develop a squad system and performance pathway for young people who show some talent in the sport, and we are confident we can achieve this as a direct legacy of the Boccia World Cup.”

Belfast Telegraph


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