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Christchurch athletes claim top spots

Christchurch athletes claim top spots


13 athletes from across the South Island descended on Christchurch looking for crucial ranking points to help their chances ahead of the National Championships later this year.

The 2-day South Island Boccia Championships held in Christchurch over the weekend of 16-17 August came to a close and it was local athletes who enjoyed notable success.

After topping the group in pool play, two-time Paralympian Jeremy Morriss from Rangiora was too strong for the rest of his competition en route to claiming the gold medal in the BC1, 2 and 4 combined grades. Papanui’s Matthew Whiting and Gary Williams finished with silver and bronze respectively.

“Jeremy has been a solid performer for the past decade and was always going to be the one to beat on home soil” said Boccia New Zealand Director Luke Morriss.

“It’s great to be the top ranked player in the south island after finishing third last year” said Jeremy Morriss.

The tournament also saw a clean sweep for Canterbury in the highly competitive Kiwi grade with Andrew Hocken beating club mates Craig Gadsby and Thomas Chin to take top spot on the podium.

“It is always tough playing against my club mates who challenge me to improve each week” said Hocken.

The talented athletes from Canterbury now look to take this rich form into the New Zealand National Championships in Wellington in October as they take on players from all over the country as well as Australia.

Boccia is a sport designed for individuals with physical impairments and is best described as an indoor version of petanque with soft leather balls. The aim of the game is to get as many of your coloured balls as close as possible to the jack while preventing the opposition from doing the same.

Local Parafed Canterbury Sports Development Officer Ben Bamford has been influential in helping to grow the strength of the Christchurch-based club over the past year.

To get involved with the club or to find out more information contact Ben Bamford on 03 385 4449 or visit www.boccia.org.nz

- Ends -

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