North East take National Boccia crown
The Ponds Forge International Sports Centre played host to The Lord`s Taverners National Under 19's Boccia Championships, and saw the highest number of teams competing for the National title yet, since its inception four years ago. Twelve teams took part, including 2 from Scotland (East and West) to compete against the 10 English regional sides.
The highly competitive games in the pool matches showed the improved quality of Boccia being played, but it was the North East and East Midlands (both champions in previous years) who made it through to the semi-finals to take on first time qualifiers the East (Suffolk) and the South East (Kent) respectively. However, despite brave efforts from everyone who made the last four, it was the North East who took the National title after a very well contested final.
On the day, Jean Ratcliff from The Lord`s Taverners appointed four new Boccia ambassadors to represent young people from across the country; Maria Verdille, Fiona Montgomery and Jake Edwards from the East and Ryan Sweeny from Yorkshire.
Further awards were also presented during finals day, with Olivia Bennett from Cheshire being awarded The Lord`s Taverners Young Official of the Year, while The Jean Ratcliff Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Kate Dewhirst from the East Midlands. This award is given to a young person who has developed personally by playing, coaching, refereeing or volunteering in Boccia, in an outstanding way.