Five minutes with David Hadfield

Despite his hectic schedule, we were fortunate to track down BISFed President David Hadfield to discuss the World Boccia Championships coming to Liverpool from 12-18 August 2018.

  • Describe boccia in three words… Inspiring, exciting, humbling
  • Why did BISFed choose Liverpool as host city? The stunning venue, coupled with the local enthusiasm and support for sport as well as the Organising Committee’s proven ability to stage a major event were all significant factors.
  • What nations/players are you most excited about watching? There are now so many outstanding players around the world, it is difficult to single out one athlete or country. I am always surprised by new players who rapidly upset the established order. Of course, the home crowd will be rooting for current World and Paralympic Champions, Steph McGuire and David Smith MBE.
  • How much work goes into organising major events like this? Staging the World Boccia Championships is undoubtedly a major undertaking; it is also more complicated because of the high support needs of many of the athletes; so for example the challenges of international travel, navigating airports, and accessing hotel rooms, which most of us take for granted, are magnified many times over in an event like this. The support of the local community is also critical because these events cannot be staged without significant numbers of volunteers, and we are so grateful to the City of Liverpool for stepping up to the challenge.
  • How do events like this inspire young people? We hope that young people will see that if you are determined enough, whatever your difficulties, disadvantages or disabilities in life might be, anything is possible. The World Boccia Championships will show without a shadow of doubt a level of ability and skill, both physical and mental, which almost defies belief.  
  • What does the future hold for the sport of boccia? In just four years, boccia has become the fastest-growing Paralympic sport. Boccia is played not only on the International sporting stage, but also in schools, clubs and old peoples’ homes around the world. We hope that by showcasing excellence in Liverpool, many more people will be inspired to start playing boccia.
Duncan Tunbridge