In 2019, Boccia England established a network of 12 Boccia Forums across the country to support the growth of boccia at a local level. Boccia Forums bring together clubs, groups, schools and organisations which deliver boccia, as well as partners including local Active Partnerships, with the primary aim of developing and growing the sport locally. They use collaborative partnership working to; maximise local resources, support and develop volunteers and create new boccia opportunities in the area they cover.

The Boccia Forums aim to meet at least twice a year and have continued to meet virtually via Zoom throughout the pandemic. For many of the forums, meeting on Zoom has been extremely beneficial as it has removed any travelling involved and allowed members from a wider geographical area to join.

Boccia England support our Boccia Forums by attending meetings and bringing leads together. The Boccia Forum Leads Discussion Group Meetings enable the forum leads to network and support each other nationally.

The positive impact of local Boccia Forums has been seen all around the country, with forum members providing support to one another to develop boccia in their local area.

An example of this is in the West of England where members of the Bristol, BANES and Gloucestershire Boccia Forum supported each other to source a boccia ramp for a disabled pupil.

We spoke to Lauren Kianchehr, Lead of the Bristol, BANES and Gloucestershire Boccia Forum, who told us:

“One of my forum members got in touch with me asking if I knew someone who could lend him a ramp for one of his students as they didn’t have the equipment to offer him at school. I sent an email to over 20 members of our forum and received a reply from almost every single person. There were offers to help from everywhere, which was amazing and slightly overwhelming!

We selected the most appropriate offer and I collected the ramp and delivered it to the school. The student has managed to use the ramp a number of times. He quickly realised how this piece of equipment allowed him to play boccia in a way that he couldn’t before and enjoys the precision that it allows him to play with.

Without our forum, this simply would not have been possible. I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same again if required.”

Larissa Milden, Lead of the Devon & Cornwall Boccia Forum, told us about how their forum has been used to put on local tournaments. She said:

"Our Boccia Forum has been a great way to bring together local clubs and organisations who deliver the sport. We use the forum to network, work together to put on local tournaments and also as a way to relay what we are doing back to Boccia England. It has brought local deliverers closer together and we feel more part of the 'national picture' for Boccia too."

Terry Fearn, Lead of the Kent Boccia Forum, told us how the aim of their forum is to promote participation in boccia throughout the region. He said:

Of course, we all have our individual club interests, but the common thread for us is to promote participation in boccia throughout our region

There are currently 13 Boccia Forums across the country, which are based in the following areas; Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, East Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire, Norfolk, Kent, Merseyside, Surrey, Lincolnshire, Bristol, BANES and Gloucestershire, Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, Tees Valley and Durham, and South Yorkshire.

Boccia England’s Boccia Forums always welcome new members! 

If you coordinate boccia and would like to join one of the forums listed above, please contact George Bollands, Boccia England’s Development Officer (Clubs & Safeguarding), via [email protected].

George will introduce to the lead for the Boccia Forum in your area. Alternatively, if we do not have a Boccia Forum in your area, and you would like help to create one, please get in touch with George who will be able to support you to do so.

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