Courtesy Angelina Di Fonzo, teacher at Leigh Elementary
Boccia, the Paralympic version of bocci, was introduced to students at Leigh Elementary on Tuesday, April 25. Jade Werger, Sport Development Coordinator at SportAbility and Jasmine Webster, volunteer Boccia programmer, taught the basics of the game to three eager grade two classes and their teachers. The round bean bag-like boccia balls are thrown or rolled underhand to the target ball called a jack. The students learned how to start a game and scoring a game. Bowling pins and pylons were added to get the strategy juices and fun flowing.
The highlight of this opportunity was the inclusion of Rosstin. He was able to participate thanks to the ramp that the organization brought along. Rosstin and his EA, Mrs. Harris, were able to participate in all aspects of the game by moving the ramp toward the jack and experimenting with different angles on the ramp. Rosstin is looking forward to playing more boccia with his schoolmates as well has helping teach his schoolmates Science. Rosstin is going to visit classes that are studying forces and motion to help demonstrate how the angle of the ramp impacts the motion of the ball.
The school is grateful to SportAbility for the teaching and the loan of the equipment to make this all possible. The feedback from today was so positive that other teachers are interested in having Jade and Jasmine come back so even more students can learn the game and play with Rosstin.
According to SportAbility BC, Boccia is a Paralympic sport of control and accuracy that can be played by anyone. It was originally designed for people with severe cerebral palsy. Now it is enjoyed by players with a wide variety of disabilities. SportAbility is a non-profit and volunteer driven organization with a goal to provide sporting opportunities for a wide variety of physical disabilities. It offers both recreational and competitive programs in sledge hockey and power soccer as well as boccia. For more information about SportAbility programs visit www.sportabilitybc.ca
If parents and community members are looking for more information about physical opportunities for their children there are several resources available to them. ActiveForLife.com is an online resource that helps parents learn more about physical literacy. Another resource is Let's Play. It is an initiative of the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society that gives children with physical disabilities in British Columbia access to a sport wheelchair and other resources so they can develop the skills they need to confidently participate in play, sport and physical education with their peers. Visit Letsplaybc.ca for more information.