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Regional titles on offer

Media release
19 February 2014

Regional titles on offer


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Talented boccia players from all across the Lower North Island are currently honing their skills in preparation for the first major boccia tournament in 2014.

Hosted by Boccia New Zealand, with support from the local Palmerston North Boccia club, the Lower North Island Boccia Championships are due to be held at Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North on April 5-6.

Palmerston North’s Greig “the surgeon” Jackson looks to retain his number one ranking after dominating the national scene in 2013.

“Boccia is a highly skilled and strategic Paralympic sport that tests each competitor’s degree of muscle control and accuracy and can be played almost anywhere,” Boccia New Zealand Director Luke Morriss says.

Seated, athletes throw, kick or use a ramp to propel six leather balls as close as possible to a white target ball, the jack.

The Championships this year are also likely to feature a range of challengers from Wanganui’s Diederik Struijck to Wellington’s Hyran Daymond, as well as a swag of other rising players who look to push for higher honours this year.

“For some players our regional Championships are a great sporting and social opportunity and probably serve as their first step into competitive boccia, whilst others such as Greig use these as a chance to track their progress towards success at the bigger tournaments later in the year“, said Morriss.

Other international tournaments beckon this year with the Australian Nationals scheduled for May and the World Championships due to be held in Beijing in September. Last year New Zealand reluctantly handed over the Trans-Tasman Shield to Australia after a decade-long stranglehold on the trophy and will look to reclaim this following the Championships.

“Greig will undoubtedly play a huge role in helping us reclaim the Shield from Australia” said Morriss. “After impressively finishing 4th in last year’s Asia and Oceania Champs, we also hope Greig has qualified and gets his ‘golden ticket’ to attend this years’ World Champs”.

For a sport that relies heavily on volunteers, Morriss says “the tournament is also highly beneficial for family members, friends, significant others and volunteers who are interested in becoming mentors / coaches or referees”.

Contact Boccia New Zealand or visit www.boccia.org.nz for further information.

ENDS

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