After 15 months’ shutdown during the COVID-19 crisis, Thanet Thunderers Boccia Club has re-opened at its old venue – Trinity Church Hall in St Mary’s Avenue, Cliftonville.
Thunderers were Boccia England’s Club of the Year 2019-20, and also British Paralympic Association’s Club of the month for April 2020. Both accolades were somewhat lost in the furore of the first shutdown of the pandemic.
Boccia is a very social game using soft balls that can be thrown, kicked or rolled down a ramp. It is a Paralympic sport originally designed for wheelchair users, but is played by people of all abilities at the club, as the main rule is that you play seated in a chair,
Some Thunderers members play at national level, and some just play for the fun of it and the social activities that are arranged from time to time.
The club was hard-hit by the effects of coronavirus; losing three active members to covid, and with several others retiring with long-term health problems during the shutdown. The group then heard that the hall where they met was to permanently close, which resulted in fewer members and nowhere to play.
Chairman Terry Fearn said: “The first proposed solution was to move to a private sporting venue at Sandwich; but this was eventually discounted due to difficult public transport links, and it looked as if the club would have to fold. “Fortunately, we then heard that Holy Trinity Church had taken over the hiring-out of the large hall that we previously used; and we moved swiftly to book our old regular slot.So…we’re back!”
The club is currently playing a modified game under Boccia England recommended rules and under the eagle eye of fully-trained COVID-19 Health and Safety Officer Laura Probert.
New members of all ages and abilities are very welcome; no previous experience of any game is necessary; just ring before you come so members can make sure to have someone looking out for you so you don’t feel too awkward about meeting new folk.
If you would like further information call Terry or Jackie on 07505 120059,