Gold at Paralympics 2016 for Head of School
Tresham College’s Head of School for Health, Care, Early Years, Access to HE, Science and Business, Sarah Nolan, has assisted David Smith win Gold at the Paralympics in Rio as his personal coach and on-court assistant. David won the 51st gold medal for ParalympicsGB after winning the Boccia mixed individual BC1 Final against Holland’s Daniel Perez with a final score of 5-0 on Friday 16th September.
Sarah has been David’s Boccia on-court assistant for over 8 years and this year’s Paralympics was the third time they have competed to be the best in the world. David won gold in Beijing 2008, closely followed by a silver medal at the London 2012 Paralympics. The latest gold medal from Rio 2016 is one to add to his collection.
Boccia is one of three Paralympic sports specifically invented for athletes with disabilities. Boccia is a target sport that tests muscle control and accuracy, demanding extreme skill and concentration at the highest level. The sport is similar to boules or petanque. Each player has six soft leather balls they must land as close as they can to the white jack ball.
David Smith, 27 from Eastleigh in Hampshire, is a BC1 competitor. He said:
“I train five times a week and have been playing for more than 21 years. Knowing that all the training has paid off is a strong sense of relief and achievement.”
Speaking to Channel 4 following his win he thanked Sarah by adding:
“A lot of credit needs to go to Sarah. My head is my biggest enemy – it’s not the opponent and it’s using the energy in the right place and in the right way being confident and she got me to that place.”
Commenting immediately after the win Sarah said:
“The atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic. The noise from the crowd was great – something David feeds off. This is a fantastic opportunity to really get Boccia on the map.
I am really thankful to Tresham for showing their support and allowing me to take the time off to assist with David in his competition so he could compete in the Paralympics.
It really is special to have been able to be involved in such a fantastic event. Well done David!”
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