Middleton look for future Paralympic stars

Middleton boccia duo Tim Hayes and Louis Saunders
Middleton boccia duo Tim Hayes and Louis Saunders
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Middleton Sports club are very proud of two young men who represented England in the Russian open boccia tournament in Moscow.

Tim Hayes and Louis Saunders have both been practising at MSC for the past few months. Hayes won a gold medal and Louis a silver – an amazing achievement for both.

It would be great to think we will have an MSC player at the Paralympics one day.

Matthew Hansford

This Saturday is National Boccia Day, helping raise awareness of the sport. If you would like to give it a go, the duowill be available at Middleton Sports Club between 9.30am and 11.30am.

MSC has excellent parking and accessible facilities, making it a great venue for boccia.

Hayes and Saunders have been training at Middleton every Monday night, when they have helped run social boccia sessions open to anyone over the age of 16 with physical disabilities.

It is not supposed to be too serious and is more about having fun and the chance to socialise. The experienced players are also happy to help others learn about the game.

To date it has been trialled by four or five people who have either left or are still at Angmering School and the evenings are currently run by Natalie Webb, a teacher at the school.

The sessions have been really well received so they now want to encourage more people to join in.

Boccia is mainly played by people in wheelchairs and is closely associated with bowls or petanque , but played with leather balls similar to bean bags. It is normally played in an area the size of a badminton court, but for social boccia at Middleton, a dance floor is used..

On Saturday, there will be experienced players practising and having fun plus coaches available to teach people new to the game.

If you know someone interested or would like to come along on Saturday, please contact Matthew Hansford at matthew@extracover.org.uk

He said: “It would be great to think we will have an MSC player at the Paralympics one day.”

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