Boccia: Rochdale player wins first place in national competition
Date published: 22 May 2019
Daniel on the podium at BE Cup National Finals
An established member of the Rochdale Boccia Club smashed his way to first place in the National Boccia England Cup finals over the weekend of 17-19 May.
Daniel Wain, who has cerebral palsy, took on 12 other competitors from across the country to win the coveted gold medal. He started playing boccia 12 years ago and has been part of Rochdale Boccia Club for nearly 10 years.
Now 27, Daniel has competed in many boccia competitions as an individual competitor and in the North West Boccia League with his ‘Rochdale Rebels’ team.
Daniel’s lifetime goal is to play on the England or Great Britain team and winning this tournament puts him in a really strong position.
His next competition, for the UK Championships, will take place in Northern Ireland where he will be playing against world class players who have represented Team GB in the Paralympics.
Daniel said: “I will be playing to become the best Boccia player in the whole of the UK. My talent could get noticed and I could get asked to join the Boccia England team or even get sponsored for the future.
"This is such an amazing stage of the competition that I have arrived to.”
Boccia (pronounced bot-cha) is a Paralympic sport with no Olympic equivalent and is similar to bowls. A target ball sport which tests both muscle control and accuracy, Boccia is a totally inclusive sport and can be played by anyone regardless of age, gender, ability or disability.
The game is played on a flat, smooth surface, usually indoors, with a court the size of a badminton court.
From a seated position, players propel balls to land as close as possible to a white marker ball, known as the Jack.
Two sides compete as individuals, pairs or as a team of three over a set number of ends (four for individuals and pairs, and six for teams).
In 2014, Daniel won Rochdale Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year after winning his first individual competitions and being accepted into the Boccia England Talent Pathway.
Since then, he has started training with a specialist regional boccia academy based in Sheffield where he receives further coaching and support.
His coach, Amy Taylor said: “Having a strong support network is key for any athlete, but it can be even more vital for someone with a disability. As a BC1 player, Daniel requires an assistant to support his matches, which his sister, Tracy, does for every match. She takes him all over the country to compete in competitions.”
Tracy added: “Daniel's father was a fanatic sports fan who sadly passed away when Daniel was just 10 years old. He would be looking down on his son with pride, that's for sure.”
Daniel is also fundraising to continue his dream of making the Paralympic team, requiring approximately £600 for the championships in Northern Ireland on 14 June plus funds for a new hoist, as he cannot weight bear.
He said: “My mobile hoist is beyond economical repair and without the use of it, my life that I enjoy so much, has to stop. For the championships, I will need my mobile hoist to get into a hotel bed.
“I have been looking online at ferry prices and hotel prices. The ferry to get me, my assistants and my van over to Northern Ireland is going to cost £400. An accessible hotel for two nights is going to cost £200.
“Please help me. A small donation will be very much appreciated, thank you.”
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