Thanet Thunderers Boccia Club Chairman Terry Fearn is appealing for four local volunteers to be heroes for a couple of hours on Sunday, December 5.
Terry has run the Thanet-based disability sports club since 2017 and has seen it become Boccia England’s “Club of the Year” 2019-20 and British Paralympic Association’s “Club of the month, April 2020”, just before lockdown.
Terry said: “I’ve been asked to help to arrange a South-East regional Back to Boccia tournament at Canterbury Christchurch University on December 5. Our biggest problem is that there are only two disabled parking bays at the venue, and all of our 24 athletes are disabled.
“ We therefore need to organise for most drivers to drop off the athletes at the sports hall and then be directed to a nearby parking zone and walk back; and for this we need at least four marshals to make it work. We can probably pay for train fares or petrol for four or five able-bodied people to help us on the day for a couple of hours in the morning, and high-vis vests will be supplied.”
Many people may have seen boccia streamed live from the Tokyo Paralympics, where team GB’s David Smith took individual Gold in the BC1 category in an amazing finals match. Paralympic boccia is played indoors with soft balls only by wheelchair athletes; but at local and regional level, folk with varying degrees of ability including visual and intellectual impairments play in mixed gender games.
The Thanet club is always looking for able-bodied volunteers to help at club sessions on Friday afternoons, and is also trying to recruit a person to investigate grants and funding opportunities.
The club meets at Trinity Church Hall, St Mary’s Avenue, Margate.