Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) sent a team of nine players to Surrey Sports Park in Guildford for the 2016 GB Boccia Championships which were held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July. The Championships were hugely significant this year as they represented the final competition for the players selected for ParalympicsGB, ahead of the Rio Games.
Scotland has a tradition of excelling at the event and this year was no different with four medals won across the BC3 and BC4 classification groups.
In the BC1 section, world number one David Smith retained his British title defeating England’s Andrew Morgan in the final. Rhodrie Tudor (WAL) claimed the bronze medal. Scotland’s representative in this class was SDS Academy athlete Reegan Stevenson, but last year’s beaten finalist was unable to qualify from the pool.
In the BC2 section it was England’s veteran Nigel Murray who claimed the gold medal, defeating teammate Aran Guthrie in the final. Northern Ireland’s Claire Taggart claimed a bronze medal ahead of her maiden Paralympic Games later this year. Scotland’s Joshua Rowe failed to progress from his pool of three following some tough matches. Josh will remain in Surrey with the rest of his GB team mates for a training camp.
In the BC3 section Scotland are considerably strong with the three players selected to represent Paralympics GB coming from our shores. Patrick Wilson, will be joined by McCowan brothers, Scott and Jamie on the plane to Rio. However, it was Jacob Thomas (Wales) who played the best boccia in this class as he edged out Scott McCowan in a closely contested final. This was the fifth time the pair had met at this stage of the competition. Brother Jamie secured his first medal at this event as a BC3 player defeating England’s Rich Amos to win bronze. Jamie, who has previously won the Gold medal competing as a BC4, was delighted with his achievement. 2015 Champion, Patrick Wilson, unfortunately failed to qualify from the pool following defeats by Rich Amos and team mate Scott McCowan.
It was an all Scottish affair in the BC4 section final with Stephen McGuire beating Kieran Steer to pick up yet another British title. The reigning British and World Champion was in devastating form all weekend and is looking in great shape heading into the Paralympic Games in September. Kieran reached the final following a terrific performance against GB team mate Evie Edwards (England) in the semi-final. Evie went on to win the bronze following a tie-break end with England’s Joshua Wilkins. Scotland’s Jamie Docherty unfortunately failed to qualify from the pool, where he met Stephen Maguire.
The final medal results for the GB Championships were as follows:
1. David Smith (ENG)
2. Andrew Morgan (ENG)
3. Rhodrie Tudor (WAL)
1. Nigel Murray (ENG)
2. Aran Guthrie (ENG)
3. Claire Taggart (NI)
1. Jacob Thomas (WAL)
2. Scott McCowan (SCO)
3. Jamie McCowan (SCO)
1. Stephen McGuire (SCO)
2. Kieran Steer (SCO)
3. Evie Edwards (ENG)
SDS would like to congratulate all the players, coaches and support staff on an extremely successful GB Championships and our thanks go to all at GB Boccia and Boccia England for hosting and organising this event.
Finally, we would like to wish GB Boccia every success at the forthcoming Paralympic Games.