You’ve ‘boccia’ keep active — British Paralympic Association CEO supports Somerset disabled people

24 May 2017

Staff and residents at the Boccia presentationBritish Paralympic Association chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth OBE, met with Somerset disabled people today to show his support for more inclusive sporting opportunities in the county.

Tim, who particularly champions the Paralympic sport of boccia, was donating official boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) balls to Bath care home Greenhill House for their fundraising auction. 

All money raised from the sale of the balls will go towards more sporting opportunities for disabled people at the Leonard Cheshire Disability run care home.

The auction of the balls will be at Greenhill House’s ‘Centenary Masquerade Ball’ on 23 September at the Bath Assembly Rooms.

Tim said:  

‘I am delighted to support Leonard Cheshire in their efforts to make sport a central part of the activities they provide for disabled people.  

‘I have seen for myself how well the Greenhill House boccia programme is run and what a positive impact it can have, not least the team’s success in competing in the national league.  

‘I am grateful to my friends in the Boccia International Sports Federation for the set of boccia balls I have donated today.

‘They are for a tremendous and very worthy cause.  I wish Leonard Cheshire every success with the Centenary Masquerade Ball and with their continued inclusive sport programme.’

Boccia is one of the few sports which features on the Paralympic programme only at a Games and was developed as an inclusive version of bowls to be played by people with a wide range of impairment.

Greenhill House’s boccia team has competed in the Boccia England National league since 2014. The team trains at the University of Bath’s grounds and has even been coached by Nigel Murray MBE. Murray will be speaking at the masquerade ball and is also donating a signed Rio 2016 shirt to the auction. 

50-year-old John Burrows, who has acquired brain injury and is epileptic, lives at Greenhill House and said:

“Boccia has provided the opportunity for individual and team development. Players’ skills are improving all the time.

‘We’re giving huge thanks to Tim for donating the boccia ball prize. 

‘There are plenty of clubs or individuals with a keen interest in this fantastic sport and need to get hold of the equipment.  

‘We can’t thank Tim enough for his kindness.’

Greenhill House have set themselves a fundraising target of £10,000 for the masquerade ball. 

Tickets priced at £95 a person are already on sale and can be bought by emailing Greenhill events or by calling 01761 479 902. Seating will be in tables of 10 (masks are not compulsory!). 

Olympic gold medal winning athlete Jason Gardener MBE is another one of the special guests, along with multi-medal winning Paralympian Ben Rushgrove. Local radio host Dom Chambers from Somer Valley FM will be master of ceremonies at the event.

It is part of Leonard Cheshire Disability’s centenary celebrations, marking 100 years since the birth of its founder, war hero and global humanitarian Leonard Cheshire.

The masquerade ball runs from 7pm, with carriages at midnight. Any local businesses interested in sponsoring the event should email Ann Birstwistke or call 01761 479 902.

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, high res images and interview requests, please email Claire Farrell or call 0203 242 0204

Current local businesses supporting the event include: Honeybourne Facilities Group, Moneta Wealth Management, Minuteman Press, Recreational Coatings and Wessex Water.