Breaking new ground in Borders Boccia
The first ever Borders Boccia League came to a dramatic conclusion last week with Eyemouth Pirates taking the honours in the final match of the series.
Teams from Eyemouth, Hawick, Peebles and Galashiels took part in the league, organised by the Borders Boccia Club in conjunction with ClubSport Borders and the Hayward Sanderson Trust, with each match comprising of six singles, three pairs and two triples games. All matches were played at the Queens Centre, Galashiels.
The last fixture involved a singles day during which players from each team played one another and the final game of the day proved to be the pinnacle as only five points separated last place and the eventual winners.
Alan Oliver, Live Borders Disability Development Officer said: “To create a league structure for the Borders Boccia Club members is an honour and testament to how well the sport has developed throughout the region in the past three years.
“The League was a huge success and we are looking forward to continuing the development of all members.
“It is our ambition for players to progress up the Boccia pathway and have the opportunity to be selected for regional and National squads, but also to encourage players to attend competitions further afield.”
Not only did the league demonstrate the need for a competitive element but, more importantly, it players from all areas of the Border Boccia Club together to socialise.
Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive Live Borders, added: “The sport of Boccia is becoming really popular in the Borders has now expanded into five areas.
“With the Borders Boccia Club going from strength to strength the formation of the league provides the ideal opportunity for players to work on their skills in a fun games environment but also allows them to work as a team.”
Over 48 players descended on the Queens Centre for every league fixture to play multiple games against each area.
Winners were Eyemouth Pirates; 2, Hawick Hawks; 3=, Peebles and Galashiels.
Elsewhere the Borders hosted their second Open Boccia Competition, also at the Queens Centre, this time with the Borders Disability Sports Group joining the organisation team. The competition was again part of Scottish Disability Sport’s Boccia series and the event saw record numbers competing.
Around 70 players from as far as Dundee and Glasgow travelled to Galashiels. Throughout all disciplines the standard of play was phenomenal with most games being close.
“The Borders Boccia Open Competition was a great success and the skill level present was magnificent to watch,” added Alan.
“To have the entry numbers this high shows it’s a competitive sport and all the matches were played in fantastic spirit.
“It was constant action throughout the day and many thanks to all competitors who waited patiently for their matches.”
Two hundred group games took place before the elimination stages, one semi-final in the learning disability section were played. With the group winners of the physical disability category playing in the final.
In the finals Hayden Keir (Dumfries & Galloway) won the Learning disability section beating Borders Boccia Club player Hilda Anderson in a high-quality match.
It was an All-Women’s Physical Disability final with Heather Nicholson (East of Scotland) winning a thrilling closely contest against Hawick’s Alison Hill.
The Assistive Device class was won by Shirley Goodfellow who topped the group undefeated.