Dozens of people will show off their boccia skills at a local competition organised by Special Olympics Swindon.
The Special Olympics aims to get more people with learning disabilities to participate in sport and a branch of the worldwide movement was set up in Swindon in May last year with the help of officers from Swindon Borough Council.
Boccia is a target ball sport similar to pentanque and bowls and is a Paralympic sport for people with disabilities. It was initially conceived for people with cerebral palsy and is a seated activity so disabled and non-disabled people can take part together.
The Council provides a number of boccia sessions each week, which are led by head coach Richard Overton.
To bring all the boccia participants together, the Council has organised a competition at Delta Tennis Centre in Westlea on Sunday, 8 May.
The competition, which will be an opportunity for the people taking part to show off their skills and have the chance to win some medals, will run throughout the day between 10am and 4pm and 30 people are expected to take part.
Harry Ash, Project Co-ordinator for Special Olympics Swindon, said: “It has been amazing to see how popular boccia has become in Swindon over the past year.
“When we first started running the sessions we had a very small number of people attending, but now we have around 20 to 30 athletes taking part each week.
“Boccia is a fantastically inclusive game and we’re very excited we have the chance to celebrate the sport next month.”
The Special Olympics has been running in the UK since 1978 as part of the global Special Olympics Movement and has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people through sport.
There are currently 150 Special Olympics clubs in Great Britain, run by over 4,000 volunteers, and involving 8,000 athletes, from those with low motor abilities to highly skilled athletes.
Details for the Special Olympics Swindon training sessions can be found on the Disability Sport Swindon Website: www.disabilitysportswindon.co.uk/special-olympics
Alternatively, email Harry Ash at: email@example.com
Picture: Boccia being played by Norwegian Parylympian at the 2008 Beijing Olympics