Boccia England’s inaugural National Boccia Day, held during last month’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, has been declared a success by the governing body.
The event took place on September 17, the day after Britain’s David Smith claimed his first individual Paralympic title with a dominant victory in the BC1 classification.
Smith, who was born in England, won team gold at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics as well as bronze and silver on home soil at London 2012.
Over 15 clubs and organisations across England staged events as part of National Boccia Day.
A key aim of the event was to “provide an inclusive platform for people of all ages with wide-ranging disabilities to participate in sport”.
The governing body hope it will become an annual fixture on their calendar “for years to come” as they aim to increase the popularity of the sport in the country.
Boccia England chief executive Christopher Ratcliffe said they are also hoping to build on the momentum of the Rio 2016 Paralympics, where boccia events were staged form September 10 to 16.
“As the national governing body of boccia, we are always looking for different ways to bring our sport to the attention of new audiences,” he said.
“The Paralympics has done so much to raise the profile of our sport, so we thought it fitting to time our event with the games.
“One of the reasons people love playing is because it is so inclusive and puts everyone on a level playing field, regardless of their physical or mental ability.
“We hope this event will become a permanent annual fixture for clubs up and down the country for years to come.”