Tickets have today officially gone on sale for the BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships.
The World Championships – which is funded by The National Lottery - is set to attract 190 players from 33 countries to Exhibition Centre Liverpool from the 12-18 August 2018. A limited number of early bird tickets are now available and are expected to sell out quickly.
Boccia is a Paralympic sport where the aim is to throw or roll balls closer to the target ball, the jack, than your opponent. All boccia athletes have an impairment that affects all four of their limbs; consequently they play from wheelchairs. It is a sport which requires strategic skill, superb muscle control and precision.
Athletes will battle it out for world titles, as well as crucially important ranking points ahead of the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020. Hopes are certainly riding high for the British team. Leading the way is David Smith MBE who won gold at the Rio Paralympics in 2016:
“For us as athletes, it’s a huge coup that it is taking place on home turf. Support from a home crowd means everything – we felt it in London 2012 and it was spectacular – and I truly believe that knowing the crowd is willing you on really can lift your performance to another level.
“This is also the first ever international boccia event, outside of a Paralympics, that is ticketed so it is a big moment for the sport. The Championship team is being really innovative in the way it is building a brilliant, spectator-friendly event so if you have never seen international boccia before, here’s your chance. We would really love to see as many of you – schools, clubs, individuals and families – out in force to support us,” added David.
This is a great opportunity to watch world class sporting action ahead of the Paralympic Games in just two years’ time. But the event also aims to create a long-lasting legacy. A family-friendly sports festival showcasing the sport of boccia and the opportunities to play will run alongside the nail-biting sporting action.
Chair of Boccia UK John Dowson explained: “Boccia saw sell-out crowds in London 2012 and Rio 2016. The sport is growing at a terrific pace internationally so we are thrilled to be hosting the BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships. It’s the largest event on the boccia calendar and we are gearing up to provide an unrivalled experience for both athletes and spectators.”
BISFed is the international federation for boccia. Its President David Hadfield said: “I am very excited that we are bringing international boccia to the city of Liverpool. The World Championships is the most important event outside the Paralympic Games, and with more countries and athletes participating than ever before, I am confident that Boccia UK and its partners will deliver a magnificent tournament.”
Esther Britten, Head of Major Events at UK Sport said: “We invest National Lottery funding into major sporting events to inspire the nation; hosting the Boccia World Championships will play a key part in helping us achieve this. We look forward to working in partnership with GB Boccia, City of Liverpool and ACC Liverpool to bring this pinnacle event to the UK.”
Liverpool’s Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Liverpool and sport go hand in hand, and it’s the perfect city to showcase a variety of major sporting events. In 2018 we are celebrating ten years since our reign as European Capital of Culture, and to mark this the city is staging an incredible programme of events. The Boccia World Championships are an exciting part of this and we look forward to welcoming the passionate fans to our world class venue for an unforgettable competition.”
The BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships has been made possible thanks to UK Sport’s National Lottery funding through its Major Events Programme.