Celebrating National Boccia Day 2021 in Suffolk

There was a great atmosphere at Whitton Sports Centre in Ipswich earlier this week, as 36 participants, from across Suffolk, came together to take part in the ActivLives Boccia Festival, in celebration of National Boccia Day 2021. 

The event was supported by players from a variety of local disability organisations including Avenues East Ipswich and Stowmarket, Wots Up, Papworth Trust and Mid-Suffolk Axis.

The day also had star quality as Evie Edwards, recently returned from representing Paralympics GB in Tokyo, was on hand throughout the event to meet players and to present the awards.

A big ‘thank you’ must go to all of the great ActivLives volunteers who gave their time, skills and energy to make it all happen. Thank you also to Active Suffolk, SCC and IBC, for their support with this event.

If you would like to know more about Inclusive Boccia with ActivLives and Special Olympics Suffolk, call 01473 345350 or email mike@activlives.org.uk

Suffolk athletes support Disability Badminton Festival in Cambridge

A group of ActivLives/Special Olympics Suffolk Badminton players went over to Cambridge recently, to support the Disability Festival as part of the Badminton England ‘Big Hit’ initiative. Our group of 10 players, were brilliantly supported by family members and friends. The ‘Big Hit’ initiative is part of the Badminton England follow up to the successful Paralympics Badminton in Tokyo. ActivLives held a ‘Bring a Guest’ session, earlier in the same week, which was also part of the ‘Big Hit’. A big thank you to all who supported these events. If you would like to know more about Inclusive Badminton in Ipswich for players with a learning disability, please contact Mike at ActivLives on 07531 236442.

Special Olympics skiing competition

Connor has competed in his first Special Olympics skiing competition on 12 th September which was run by the South East. The day was well attended by skiers.

Connor did very well and won a Gold medal in the slalom and also a Gold medal in the Gs. Both were in the Advanced Division one category.

He was also the fasted skier on the day in both competitions.

The next competition will be on the 2nd October in the West Midlands.

Badminton England initiative; The ‘Big Hit’

ActivLives and Special Olympics Suffolk are actively supporting the current Badminton England initiative, the ‘Big Hit’.

To celebrate the success of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Badminton England, in partnership with local clubs and coaches, are hosting a series of disability Para-Badminton Festivals.

The festivals provide an opportunity for all disabled people to get involved and try a new sport? Or if you have experienced badminton previously, it’s time to get back on court!

Delivered by experienced Disability Badminton Coaches, the Para Badminton Festivals can be enjoyed by all and promise to be lots of fun, involving skill-based activities and on-court games.

Disability Badminton | Badminton England

Mike McCarthy

ActivSport Manager

07531 236442

Hetty Bartlett goes for Paralympic glory

Hetty Bartlett

Fulfilling a dream she’s had since taking up athletics many years ago, Suffolk athlete Hetty Bartlett has been honoured with selection for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games which gets underway today. Making her debut for ParalympicsGB in the T38 Long Jump on 31st August will represent just reward for many hard years training for sprints and long jump. As a member of Orwell Panthers Athletics Club and Special Olympics Suffolk, she has won many national events over the years. In 2019 she won Gold in the 200m at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. Now a member of the ParalympicsGB athletics squad the door has opened for her to compete with the best in the world in the T38 classification. All at Orwell Panthers Athletics Club and Special Olympics Suffolk wish her every success at the Games and for her future in Paralympic competition

Suffolk inclusive boccia sessions

Special Olympics Suffolk partners, ActivLives, continue to deliver inclusive boccia sessions for players with a learning disability, in partnership with local provider Avenues East. The sessions, which are held in Stowmarket and Ipswich, are being supported by Active Suffolk and Sport England through the Tackling Inequalities Fund.

Sacha Feeney-Howells, Avenues East Project Coordinator, said, ‘The people that access our daytime activity groups love playing boccia, they work as a team encouraging each other, they are clearly improving their skills and take pride in their achievements. Boccia is a super sport for all abilities and great fun to play! We look forward to more sessions and more partnerships with ActivLives’.

For more information, contact Mike McCarthy, ActivSport Manager, 07531 236442

SOS athletes star for ITFC

On Saturday May 1st 2021 The Ipswich Town community trust Disability football team hosted their first competitive/friendly match against Maldon Saints. The team had 3 SOS athletes feature for them; Edward Martin, Cameron Sherman and his brother Nathan. Playing alongside were Scott Johnson and Josh Wightman. All getting plenty of minutes on the pitch and putting in lots of effort during a tough game against a really good opposition.

Everyone involved enjoyed the match and look forward to the return fixture at Maldon in June. 

The community trust was relaunched 2 years ago and the disability provision has grown so much in a short space of time. For anyone interested and who may want to take part the team train every Thursday evening from 5pm at Portman Road.

Interested? Contact Leanne Smith, Community Engagement Co-ordinator, at leanne.smith@itfc.co.uk to find out more!

‘Boccia is back’ with ActivLives

You know that things are gradually getting back to how they were before Covid-19, when the boccia balls come out once again!

ActivLives have recently re-started their regular boccia sessions, with Avenues East, in Ipswich and Stowmarket. The sessions have been adapted to meet all of the current Covid-19 requirements including ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’. 

The group sessions are tailored specifically for players who have an intellectual disability, which is why they are able to get back to play, in-line with the ‘grassroots sport for athletes with a disability’ exemption, as part of the current Covid-19 guidelines. 

“Avenues East Daytime clubs have been lucky enough to have Boccia and Kurling sessions, led by ActivLives, for quite a few years now. It really is a highlight of our month. The progression in everyone, as a result of these sessions, is phenomenal and the fun and camaraderie is priceless”,said Louise Powell, Avenues East Project Coordinator.

If you would like to know more about playing boccia with ActivLives, call Mike on 07531 236442 or email mike@activlives.org.uk