Boccia boost at Barry and Vale youth centres
4:40pm Friday 25th January 2013 in News
THE Paralympic sport of boccia can now be played at several youth centres across the Vale of Glamorgan after new equipment was bought with funding from Sport Wales' Community Chest scheme.
A £1,484.18 grant has been awarded to the Vale Council's Youth Service to give youngsters a chance to try their hand at the game, which is a cross between petanque and bowls.
The boccia sets are available to be used by the youngsters who attend various groups at the following centres; Ysgol Maes Dyfan Youth Club, Colwinston and Wick Youth Club, Byrd Crescent in Penarth, Murchfield in Dinas Powys, Area 41 in Barry and Llantwit Major Youth Centre.
The council's Youth Service applied for the grant after seeing the impact made by the London 2012 Games, with the Youth Service's Inclusion and Development Manager Tina Simmons saying: "Following the success of the Paralympics and the raised profile of sports such as boccia, I am pleased that we were successful with our Community Chest application which enabled us to buy boccia equipment.
"This will allow all of our youth service members the opportunity to develop their skills and participate in inter-club competitions, whatever their needs."
Boccia is a fun sport that is easy to pick up and can be played by people with disabilities as well as non-disabled people. Just like bowls it involves players throwing balls as close as they can towards a white target ball, also known as the jack. It became a Paralympic sport in 1984 and is played in over 50 countries worldwide.
Delighted with how the new equipment could help raise awareness of disability sport among local young people, Simon Jones, the Vale Council's Disability Sport Wales Development Officer, said: "Boccia can be played by anyone and I am very pleased that the Youth Services have made it possible to play a Paralympic sport in several youth centres across the county.
"I am also pleased that the Paralympics have had such a positive effect in the Vale, leading to new opportunities such as this for disabled and non-disabled people to participate in sport together."
Supporting grass-roots sport for over a decade, Sport Wales' Community Chest scheme provides funding of up to £1,500 to sports clubs and organisations in Wales to help them offer high quality opportunities for local people of all ages to take part in sport and physical activity.
The Community Chest scheme is managed locally by the Vale of Glamorgan Council's sports and play development team and is agreed by a panel of volunteers with support from Sport Wales.
The panel meets every three months, and the scheme can provide funding for a variety of purposes. In the latest grant awards more than £25,000 worth of funding was agreed for 21 different sports clubs and organisations.
Among the awards were £1,500 for the Vale District Scout Council to offer archery coaching sessions, £1,500 for the Vale Reds disability football club to set up an under 16s team, and £1,500 for Rhoose Lifeguards to offer improved training facilities.
To discuss a potential Community Chest application for your sports club or organisation call the Vale Council's sports and play development manager Karen Davies on 01446 704793.