Impact Stories Boccia is my happy place How did you first get involved in Boccia? It all started back in 2017 at a school competition. I had gone there for fun with our inclusive sports team. Whilst playing a match, Pete the referee (club lead at Nottinghamshire Boccia Club) was paying close attention to how I played and the types of shots I was doing. At the end of the day Pete had approached me and a teacher from the school and said to me he wanted me to go down to the club the following week and give it a try. I have been there ever since! What's your involvement now? I’m a player and I try to help new players in giving them support and advice/tips. What does boccia mean to you? Boccia is my life, my whole world, I love it so much. No matter if I’m in a good mood or not on a Thursday I always look forward to boccia. It’s also a place where I can be me and I’m surrounded by others that are just like me without feeling like I’m the odd one out or I don’t fit in. Boccia is my happy place and when I’m there I’m in my zone. All the people at Notts Boccia Club have accepted that I may need ear defenders as I’m sensitive to noise because of my autism and my octopus is now also part of the team and it helps the coaches see what mood I’m in and how to approach me. How did you engage during the pandemic? I joined in the club’s weekly zoom meetings and played matches against family in the living room. At the end of the pandemic I also got my new set of balls and started to break them in. What are your hopes for the future? At some point in the future, I would like to be a BC6 medallist. However outside of boccia I would like to become a professional chef and have my own restaurant after doing a level 1 beginners in working in hospitality and catering. In the course I’ve been learning both sides in running a restaurant and to follow this dream next year I’m doing level 2 NVQ in professional cookery. What’s your favourite boccia memory? I have two favourite boccia memories. My first one is when we were on TV for BBC Children in Need in 2017 and I got to play against Pudsey Bear. My second boccia memory was when I was on work experience in 2019 and I was a photographer for Boccia England for the day at their Teams and Pairs competition. I think I managed to take some good shots.