8 reasons to come to the World Championships

Not bought your tickets yet? Ok, here are 8 reasons why a visit to the BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships would be time well spent!

1.       It’s in Liverpool

Boccia descends on Liverpool at the perfect time. The city is brimming with excitement as it celebrates 10 years since they were crowned European Capital of Culture. Come and explore a city where the transport is multicoloured (just check out the ferry!) and the food is out of this world. Throw in unique attractions, superb architecture and a city that is famous for the Fab Four and world class sport, what’s not to love? Oh and let’s not forget, the famously warm welcome. Why not make a visit to the BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships part of a weekend break to remember?

2.       To entertain the kids

Six weeks of summer holidays….parents, we all need a plan of action to keep the little ones entertained. If you’re fed up of blowing up the paddling pool for the umpteenth time – let us do the hard work. With world class action on court by top Paralympians as well as come and try sessions, there is plenty of fun for all the family.

3.       To see what is possible

Whether you are disabled or non-disabled, come and be inspired by our Paralympic athletes. Our athletes live with conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. To play boccia at an elite level, you must have an impairment in all four limbs. Yet, boccia is a sport that requires muscle control, skill and accuracy. For those with friends or families who have similar conditions and don’t yet play a sport, the event is set to be a real eye opener showing what can be achieved. And of course, for those who have started out playing boccia (or any other sport for that matter), come and see our stars in action and fire up your dreams of competing on the world stage.

4.       To cheer on the Brits

Britain is fielding a 10-strong team led by Paralympic gold medallist David Smith MBE and defending champion Stephen McGuire. We also have fellow Paralympians batting it out for world titles in Claire Taggart and Jess Hunter. And the youngest of them all is Louis Saunders. At 16, he has been sitting his GCSEs this summer as well as training and competing! Bring your flags and make some noise!

5.       Come and try boccia

Not many people really know what boccia is. First things first, it rhymes with ‘gotcha’. Long after the final ball is played, organisers are hoping to leave a long-lasting legacy in the city. Boccia England are leading on a £32,000 programme (thanks to Sport England’s National Lottery funding) to encourage more people to play the sport. There will be opportunities to try out the sport at venues around the city leading up to the event and there will also be daily come and try sessions at the Championships. It’s a great way to try out the sport in a fun and safe environment. And as part of the legacy plans, a brand new boccia club will be set up in the city so you can regularly practise your new skills.

6.       See boccia like never before

Just because you may have seen boccia before, you won’t have seen it like this! With around 190 players arriving from all corners of the globe, the world’s best will be in Liverpool. And the organisers are leaving no stone unturned in making this a superb spectator friendly event. Traditional court layouts have been totally ripped up so that you can get up, close and personal to the action on court. And it’s not all about the Brits, ones to watch include Greece’s Greg Polychronidis, the Netherlands’ Daniel Perez as well as Vongsa Watcharaphon and Worawut Saengampa, both of Thailand.

7.       Tactics and tension

Don’t be fooled. It is harder than it looks. It’s a game of huge precision and control. As skills improve, the tactics of the sport offer both tension and excitement. The balls are of different weights and designs to do different jobs – one might roll carefully, another might destroy the current court set-up.

“Every match is different, every ball thrown can change a match,” says Stephen McGuire. And he should know. He is the World No.1 BC4 player and defending World Champion

8.       Can’t get to Tokyo

You may not be able to fly across to Tokyo for the Paralympic Games in 2020 but all the stars will be right here in Liverpool, this summer!

The BISFed World Boccia Championships take place 12-18 August at Exhibition Centre Liverpool. Tickets are still available at www.echoarena.com/worldboccia.

Duncan Tunbridge