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Although lesser known, the game of boccia has enjoyed a resurgence since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London and has now hit University Centre Shrewsbury.

For those who don’t know, boccia is a precision ball sport, similar to bowls and pétanque, and is played by athletes with more severe physical disabilities. The game was originally designed for people with cerebral palsy but is now played by people with other disabilities affecting motor skills.

So, in the spirit of Student Development Week which took place last week at UCS, students were treated to a specialist workshop organised by lecturer Georgina Holmes where they could learn all about this little known sport, its history in the Paralympic Games, successes and development.

With guest lectures from Dr Ian Brittain from Coventry University and Duncan Tunbridge from GB Boccia, students were given an interesting insight into the world of disability sport from two industry experts, plus offered the chance to go head-to-head with staff and practice their boccia technique.

Sharing their knowledge, enthusiasm and experience of disability sport, both Ian and Duncan put the students to the test with activities on teamwork, tactics and precision, concluding with a staff vs student stand-off with the students coming out on top.

Georgina Holmes, Programme Lead Sport Management, said: “We ran the workshop to give students the chance to learn more about a sport that perhaps they have not given much consideration to before.

“The workshop also aimed at redressing the balance between sport and disability sport as, in terms of awareness, disability sport is often overlooked. And yet, in terms of medals at major championships, para-athletes are often bringing home more medals than their non-disabled colleagues.

“It is important to highlight disability sport and provide such learning opportunities outside the academic programme.”

The Sport Management course at University Centre Shrewsbury is perfect for anyone wanting to build a career in the sports industry. For more information, please visit the Sport Management page of the website. 

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