Lee Maddison

Classification:  BC3

About me: I very competitive and I feel this is a good trait to have while playing Boccia. However, I am humble in victory or defeat.   I volunteer at the Percy Hedley Foundation once a week working in the sports academy with individuals with learning and physical disabilities, where I deliver sports sessions and contribute to the essential paperwork. 

Hobbies:  I enjoy following football and darts.  I also participate in pub quizzes with my family and friends. 

Interests: I enjoy socialising with my friends and family. Boccia is a very big part of my life but when I'm not training, competing or coaching I like to see my niece and nephew.

Career highlights:

National championships 2000; Holland Pairs Open 2007; Vienna Pairs Gold 2008-2009 Tatra Cup individual Bronze 2018; Scottish Open Pairs International Bronze 2017; BE Cup medals 2011 to present; BE cup finals 3rd 2019.

Academy: Vipers

Why do you love Boccia?  Anyone can play and it’s a sport I can thrive in.

What is your advice to someone starting out in the sport?

Dream big, anything is possible. If you want to - you can achieve it.

James Clowes

Classification:  BC2

About me: I have been playing Boccia for 15 years and competitively for 12 years. Boccia was part of my PE lessons at Treloar’s School.

When I was 15, I was chosen to participate in a GB talent cycle. It was then that I realised I loved the competitive side of the sport and I wanted more of it. From 2011-2015 I was a member of previous England set up and I was pleased to have been invited back this year to first compete in Poland in June and then join the squad fully.  

Hobbies:  I have had a season ticket for Portsmouth Football Club for 16 years. I also love meeting up with friends for a meal, going to the cinema and the theatre. 

Interests: Having graduated from university with my Masters, I have now set up my own business - Star Support For You Ltd, which is focused on helping disabled people employ their own Personal Assistants / Carers and delivering bespoke training to ensure our clients’ needs are fully met. 

Career highlights: Competing in eight internationals in Holland, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, and several home internationals. My greatest Boccia moment so far was coming second in the UK Championships in June 2019.

Academy: Scorpions

Why do you love Boccia?  I can play and compete at a high level, visit places I have never been before and I have made friends for life through my Boccia journey.

What is your advice to someone starting out in the sport? Keep training and stay focused. Set achievable and realistic goals, so you get the sense of steady progress. Above all, enjoy what you do. 

Beth Moulam

  

Classification: BC3

About me: When I was first starting out I was a thrower, holding and throwing a ball.  Three years ago recently I had to stop throwing and transition to learning to work with a BC3 ramp assistant and the dynamics of a ramp.

I’m currently doing my dissertation – I’m studying Social Policy.

Hobbies:  I enjoy socialising, getting stuck in the mud at concerts, being by the sea, meditating. I am also a racerunner.

Interests: I mentor people who use AAC (augmentative and alternative communication).  I love public speaking and have been able to share my passion, experiences, knowledge and skills all over the world.

Career Highlights: Being selected to play internationally for England four times and most recently being selected to train with Boccia UK and playing individually in Nymburk at the Bisfed Regional Open 2019.

Academy: Knights

Why do you love Boccia? Being able to play competitively, to learn each day and to achieve in sport.

What is your advice to someone starting out in the sport? Don’t expect to be an expert on day one. It takes 10,000 hours (apparently) to become an elite athlete, and I can believe it with the commitment needed. So, go out there and enjoy the journey just trying to get better each time you train and compete.

Caroline Robinson

Classification: BC1

About me: I have been playing Boccia for about nine years and this is the second time I have been part of the EPG.

Originally I saw Boccia being played on Granada TV and went to find a club. I found the tactics easy but the control of movement was much harder. A competitive outlet was the reason I started to play plus it’s great for fitness, for making friends and it gives you a target to get out of bed for, to show skill and achievements.

 Hobbies:  Watching live bands, reading and the cinema, I also like to get readings from spiritualists.

Interests: I am a published poet.

 Career Highlights: Getting individual gold in Poznan in 2014 and guesting for Boccia UK in 2019 in the Czech Republic and contributing to team gold.

Academy: Knights

Why do you love Boccia? Competing, strategy, to be good at something on an equal playing field. To be part of a Boccia community.

 What is your advice to someone starting out in the sport?

Decide what you want from Boccia, Find a club that meets this need. Eg, some clubs are mainly social rather than competitive 

Gabby Rolls

Classification: BC2

About me: I took up boccia seriously three years ago, aged 12, after a major operation on my legs left me feeling low. Inspired by the Paralympics I thought I could use sport to improve my confidence. This prompted me to join a local club (Dartford Boccia Club). I realised I wanted to play competitively right from the first club session! I was hooked from the moment I threw my first ball and was thrilled to know there were competitions as I am very competitive.

Hobbies: I like to bake, going out with friends for coffee or pizza and love movies and music.

Interests: I have a three-year-old pug, Pixie, who is the love of my life!

Career Highlights:  Achieving a gold medal with the BC1/2 England Team. It was an honour to be selected to represent England but then to play in every match, contribute to our wins and ultimately get Gold was the best feeling in the world.

Academy: Scorpions

Why do you love boccia? You get to unleash your competitive side and engage in some physical activity, not to mention there is a huge social aspect. I have made so many friends and look forward to seeing familiar faces every time I compete.

What is your advice to someone starting out in the sport?

Enjoy it! Enjoy experimenting with what your body can do, enjoy the thrill of competing against your friends/family and enjoy playing a sport that has no limitations.

Rafael Young

Classification: BC3

About me: I was at home, watching the London Paralympics opening ceremony and the GB boccia team went past the camera.  I went: “Hang on… someone that needs a wheelchair like mine can’t do sports, can they?!” Minutes later I was Googling boccia, and then in tears of shock and delight that there might be a sport I could play. Within weeks I was attending a session at Champions Sports Club, a couple of weeks later I won my first medal at a Regional Championships, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Hobbies:  Reading, driving my van on clear roads in good weather. Playing a variety of games on my PS3.

Interests:  I’m a Member of the Zoological Society of London. I’ve loved to visit the zoo since I was tiny and still escape away to visit there every chance I get. I’ve been a disability rights activist since I was little - I got involved with the movement when I was only 10 years old.

Career highlights: Making it all the way from the first match at the Heathcoat Cup National Finals to the semi-final at the BE Cup National Finals unbeaten; a string of eight wins in a row. Being selected as TASS’ Most Determined Athlete in June 2019.

Academy: Knights

Why do you love Boccia? I’m naturally quite competitive and a bit of a perfectionist, and I was overjoyed to find an outlet for both of those in Boccia.

What is your advice to someone starting out in the sport? Don’t rush out and buy expensive, complicated equipment straight away. Ask for help, don’t struggle on your own to work things out - the Boccia community is a remarkable group of mutually supportive people, and we will help. 

Jabe Peake

Classification: BC1

About me:  I’m a nineteen-year-old, going to university in September 2019  to study Maths and Economics. As well as playing boccia, I love to spend time with friends and family, play board games and relax. Boccia has become a big part of my life; it’s a great game and the people that I’ve met are really important to me.

Hobbies: playing board games, going out with friends and family and relaxing.

Interests: Politics, Maths, and of course Boccia!

Competition success: I’m the BE winner in 2017 and 2018.

I’ve received a medal in friendly tournaments in Poland, Slovakia, and Russia. 

Academy: Hawks

Why do you love boccia? It’s a combination of physical fitness and a tactical game.

What is your advice to someone starting out in the sport? Above everything else, enjoy the game.

  

Matt 'Bezza' Berry 

Classification: BC3

About me: I’m 24, have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and have been playing Boccia for 10 years. I am currently part of the England squad and play internationally.  I graduated with a 2:1 BSc Honours Degree in engineering from Portsmouth University. I have designed two websites and' I am often involved in design consultation work. I have travelled extensively including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Europe, Africa and Thailand.

Hobbies and Interests:  Star Wars, sport (Arsenal fan}, film and TV, comedy and Music, website design

Competition success:

Individual Bronze Russia 2016

Individual Gold Slovakia 2017

Individual Bronze and Pairs Gold Russia 2017

4th BE Cup 2018

Individual Gold Scottish Open 2018

  • 2nd BE Cup Finals 2019
  • 2nd UK Championships 2019
  • 2nd UK Challenger 2019
  • 4th Polish Open 2019
  • Scottish Open Pairs Gold 2019
  • Super League Champions 2018 and 2019
  • 4th UK International challenger 2

Academy: Scorpions

Why do you love boccia? I love the competitive nature of Boccia.

What is your advice to someone starting out in the sport? Always work hard and keep improving.

Tia Ruel

Classification: BC1 

 About me: I have been playing boccia for 10 years and in that time I have become an England player, and Captain of the England team BC1/BC2. I am also part of the GB transition group and hope to one day compete at a Paralympics. 

 Hobbies: theatre, musicals, music and obviously shopping. 

 Interests: musicals, baking, sports and psychology!

Career highlights: Bronze individual and team silver in Slovakia 2018; southern regional BE Cup gold several times; individual bronze and team silver at the Poznan Open in 2016 and team bronze at the Poznan Open in 2019; silver (against the world champion!) and team gold at the Scottish Open 2017; BC1/2 team gold at the national teams and pairs competition 2018&19; running my very first BC1-5 competition that was a huge celebration of the love of Boccia.

 Academy: Hawks

Why do you love Boccia? It’s something I can do that’s still challenging.

What is your advice to someone starting out in the sport? Boccia has many benefits and it keeps me active, thinking and competitive. Find a good local group to join; play with family members; seek advice from Boccia England and if you are good at it don’t give up. Ever.

  

Will Arnott

Classification: BC3

About me: I got into boccia in 2011 and spent 5 years as a BC4 before becoming a BC3 in 2016. I have been part of the EPG since 2017 and have played internationally with the England team in Russia and the Czech Republic.

Hobbies: All sports especially football, video games.

Interests: Sports coaching- I am currently taking a degree in sports coaching at Solent University. I am also an Arsenal fan.

Competition success:

BE cup champion 2018

UK championship runner up 2018

Scottish Open champion 2017

Winner of Russia under-23 international competition 2017

Runner up in the Czech international Boccia open 2017

Academy: Scorpions