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World Champion Inspires Students


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Current World and European Boccia champion, David Smith, spent a day at the Kettering campus where he shared his story and tested the Boccia skills of the Sport and Health Care and Early Years students.

The day was organised by Sarah Nolan, Head of School for Health Care and Early Years, and also a Coach on the Great Britain Boccia Team and David’s on-court assistant. The aim was to use the sport of Boccia to raise awareness of the wider considerations of disability sports. Sarah said:

The day was a real success.  Many sports students were shocked at the inequality in recognition and pay for athletes who have a disability compared to what they are hoping for as footballers or similar mainstream sports. The students enhanced their understanding of respect for individuals, acknowledging their differences but recognising their potential.

Ranked number 2 in the World, David first started playing Boccia at the age of six, but it was during his time at the Secondary Specialist College he attended in Hampshire where he really began to show promise in the sport. David said:

At the college it was the main sport to be involved in and I spent a lot of time working at it. At the age of 14 I became the youngest British Champion and joined the England squad in 2005, which then developed into the Great Britain squad from 2006.

David’s first International honour’s came at the 2007 World Cup in Vancouver, where he won in both the individual and team competitions. More success followed and David was crowned individual World Champion in Beijing 2014 and European Champion in Portugal 2013, where the team also triumphed.

During the day at Tresham, David demonstrated his amazing talent and encouraged the students to have a go. He commented:

I have really enjoyed visiting the college and meeting the students. They have got stuck in and really given it a go. It’s important that people understand the complexities of disability sports, so days like these are great.

We wish David and the GB team every success in next years World Championships in Beijing.

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