Essex boccia cutA Paralympic athlete is coaching a group of adults with learning disabilities in Essex to play boccia in a weekly club aimed at improving their physical wellbeing.

The group, from Essex Cares’ Chapter House Wellbeing & Activity Centre in Maldon, are enjoying coaching sessions led by boccia Paralympic athlete and coach, Therese Hunt. Boccia is similar to petanque and bowls and involves players sitting in a chair or wheelchair throwing or rolling their ball as close to the ‘jack’ as possible.

Hunt, who has cerebral palsy, competed in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and has a degree in sports coaching. She runs the club each Monday from 1:30pm – 2:30pm at the Blackwater Leisure Centre in Maldon.

Jill Thompson, Essex Cares’ community support team leader, said: “The customers absolutely love the boccia sessions and it’s a fantastic way for them to learn new skills, work as a team and take part in physical activity. As boccia is a sitting sport it means all of our customers can take part and enjoy the activity.”

Thompson added that Essex Cares runs 30 Wellbeing & Activity Centres across Essex and we hope to involve other clubs and customers and possibly start a league in the coming months.
The Boccia Club costs £2 per person and sessions are open to members of the public.