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The Briefing

Disability Sport NI crown Virtual Boccia League winners at Fleming Fulton

by Aiken PR

16/09/2021

Fleming Fulton

Committed to transforming access to disability sports across Northern Ireland, Disability Sport NI and Progressive Building Society have announced that Fleming Fulton is amongst the winners of the first ever virtual Boccia league.

Since the partnership with Progressive and Disability Sport commenced in 2019, over 27,000 participant opportunities have been established to improve the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities and throughout the pandemic, the team were determined that the programme would continue to support the physical and mental health of the most vulnerable in society.

The virtual Boccia League involved a series of online challenges enabling individuals to compete at home, or in a school/sports hall, with whatever equipment they had available to them. Having achieved 1st place in the School League, Fleming Fulton has been awarded a Boccia set for the school, with participants each receiving medals and water bottles.

Paula Vance, PE Teacher at the Belfast school, said the NI Virtual Boccia League offered pupils a fun challenge at a time when sports activity was severely restricted by the pandemic.

“While school sport was on pause as a whole due to the pandemic, boccia was one of the few sports that could be played safely in a controlled environment with smaller numbers of pupils. Adapted sports are essential for our pupils emotional and mental health and taking part in the league gave them an opportunity within their class bubble to socialise in an activity that provided a fun challenge.”

Terry Conroy, Boccia Performance Pathway Office at Disability Sport NI, added: “The Virtual Boccia League, sponsored by Progressive, was our first venture into running an online boccia competition, and it was a great success. We had 110 individuals entered from across Northern Ireland, including 8 club teams and 10 school teams. The competition was a great opportunity for both experienced and new boccia players to take part and stay active at home when lockdown restrictions meant that our regular club activity and competitions weren’t able to happen.”

Commenting on the partnership, Progressive’s Chief Executive Darina Armstrong said: “We are passionate about supporting Disability Sport NI in their vision for an inclusive society. This year’s inaugural virtual Boccia league was a great success, and just one example of the very significant impact that Disability Sport NI is having on the health and well–being of those living with a disability.”