Edmonton, Alberta (June 13, 2019) – The 2019 Alberta Boccia Championships were recently hosted in Edmonton by the Alberta Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (ACPSA).
The competition kicked off on June 1st with a mixed class round robin. The athletes had to adapt their playing styles to take into consideration the other classes that they would be competing against.
On the second day of competition, the semi-finals got underway in the afternoon. BC3 player, Ryan Rondeau (Edmonton, AB) was up against open player Scott Pagenkopf (Strathmore, AB). Although Pagenkopf put up a good fight in all four ends, Rondeau was the eventual winner. On the opposite court, three-time provincial champion, Aiden White (Medicine Hat, AB) did not disappoint in his semi-final game against Mack Kehler (Medicine Hat, AB). It was a nail-biter, even at five points after regulation time. White went on to win the game by one point in an exciting tie-break.
The bronze medal match-up was between Kehler and Pagenkopf. Although Kehler put up a good fight, in the end, it was not enough and Pagenkopf took home the bronze.
Rondeau then met White in an exciting gold medal game. The two players were neck and neck and evenly matched, despite coming from different class categories. After the third end, Rondeau pulled ahead to lead by 2 points. However, in the fourth end White gained momentum after throwing a perfectly placed block in front of the jack ball. White earned three points in the final end to narrowly beat Rondeau 4-3.
“I’m glad that my hard work and efforts have paid off here,” said White. “There’s plenty of great competition at these tournaments.” White now has an eye on qualifying for his first national championships.
Margaret Conquest, ACPSA Director of Programs, is optimistic about the future of boccia in Alberta, noting that the 2019 Alberta Boccia Championships represented over 75% participation from the pool of serious boccia players in the province, as well as three distinct regions in Alberta. “This is exciting for us, as we have worked hard to raise awareness and promote grass roots participation. Our finalists were serious and extremely focused, which was exactly what we wanted to see.”
For more information about programs offered by ACPSA visit http://www.acpsa.ca/programs-4.