Each kit has a set of boccia balls, targets, cones, a hula hoop, a beach ball, Boccia Canada masks and stickers. Recipients will also receive two hours of online coaching with a trained, National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) boccia coach. In total, there is over $25,000 in equipment and services provided.
“We were so thrilled with the overwhelming response to our equipment kit offer,” said Program Manager Jennifer Larson. “We received over 125 requests from across Canada, including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Boccia Canada worked with the Ontario Cerebral Palsy Sports Association to distribute the kits to encourage boccia development in Canada during COVID. Boccia is a Paralympic sport that can be practiced at home, but the equipment isn’t always available locally and comes at a cost.
Seven-year old Eden Kovacik has been practicing boccia at NeuroMotion Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre since receiving his kit. His mother, Annie Tseng, explains that “it’s interesting to see all the equipment in the set and the strategies that come along with the game. Due to [Eden’s] disability, he doesn’t play many sports but he loves to play boccia so we’d like to nurture that and encourage him to play more of it. The kits have made it easier for him to practice boccia during therapy.”
The primary goal of the program is to help new participants try boccia and develop their skills at home, while connecting them to a boccia program when COVID restrictions are lifted. A secondary goal is to help existing boccia athletes who cannot currently access their regular program and equipment due to COVID-19.
All recipients will be connected with their provincial boccia partner and to a local program where possible.
The program has been paused while Boccia Canada processes requests and delivers the kits, but with such a positive response, Larson anticipates delivering a second phase later in 2021.
Bratz@Home kits are also available for purchase directly through the Ontario Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (OCPSA).
To follow the delivery, distribution, and receipt of the kits visit Boccia Canada’s Facebook page here.
About Boccia Canada
Boccia Canada is the boccia delivery arm of the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (CCPSA), the National Sport Organization for the Paralympic sport of boccia. Boccia Canada is focused on providing athletes and individuals of all ages and skill with the chance to play a unique Paralympic sport. CCPSA collaborates with partners to increase the participation of Canadians with cerebral palsy and related disabilities in sport and physical activity, while leading, developing and growing boccia from grassroots, to producing World and Paralympic Champions.
Boccia is a Paralympic sport of precision and strategy similar to lawn bowling or curling, played by athletes with Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and related disabilities. It is one of only two Paralympic sports that do not have an Olympic counterpart. Athletes compete in one of six sport classes based on their level and type of disability: BC1, BC2, BC3, BC4, BC5, and Open. For more information on boccia, visit www.bocciacanada.ca.
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