Last month we celebrated National Boccia Day 2023, our annual celebration to raise awareness of our fantastically inclusive sport across the country. The theme of this year’s celebrations was ‘Bringing People Together Through Boccia’ and we supported our incredible network of clubs with the delivery of seven local NBD23 Festivals across the country. They took place in Central & Yorkshire, East, West, Kent, London, South and the North West. 

These seven local festivals brought together over 300 people of all ages and abilities from clubs, groups and organisations in their local areas to celebrate our amazing sport. 

In Kent, their festival included a carousel of boccia activities for participants to accumulate points from each, with those with the most points at the end winning a NBD23 t-shirt. Meanwhile, the Central & Yorkshire festival in Chesterfield saw players put in teams consisting of people from different clubs to compete against each other in a mini tournament. The North West’s celebrations included a whole day of activities at the Toughsheet Stadium in Bolton, with a schools Panathlon event taking place in the morning followed by the delivery of a Boccia Leaders Award in the afternoon to upskill local deliverers and then a festival attended by clubs and groups from across the region in the evening. 

The Boccia England staff team celebrated National Boccia Day 2023 at Portland College where we enjoyed taking part in boccia activities led by their Student Sport Leaders and were joined by partners supporting our work. 

Feedback from all the festivals was positive with one player from Nottinghamshire Boccia Club saying:

“For me, what I’ve enjoyed has just been being around other people. Boccia brings loads of community and I think that today’s festival is an example of that. I’ve really really enjoyed it!”

 A player from Portland College added:

“I’ve come today to mix with a range of different kinds of people who are all individually different, and I have enjoyed mixing with a variety of people”

Gill Hawketts from Chesterfield Boccia Club who organised the Central & Yorkshire festival told us how successful it was and said: 

“As the theme was Bringing People Together Through Boccia, we decided to mix our teams up with players from Nottinghamshire Boccia Club, Chesterfield Boccia Club, Boccia Sheffield and Portland College Boccia Club, and it has been very successful. Very hard work to organise but the end result has been fantastic – the way that different players with different abilities and disabilities have come together, have communicated and have included people they have never spoken to before, it really has been a fantastic afternoon”

Mike McCarthy from ActiveLives Suffolk arranged the East National Boccia Day festival where over 40 disabled players competed in a mini tournament. Afterwards he said: 

“What a day! We had some brilliant boccia being played and the buzz in the hall was electric, especially during the medal play-off matches.”


An organiser of the Kent National Boccia Day festival explained how nice it was for clubs across the region to meet up in a non-competitive environment by saying:

“It’s been really nice to meet up with clubs and groups from across the whole county so that we are playing for fun rather than meeting up in a competitive situation”

In addition to the seven local festivals, we also ran some competitions on our Facebook page to further engage with the boccia community. These competitions received over 135 entries combined- thank you very much if you took part in them and many congratulations to the lucky winners! 

On National Boccia Day , we were delighted to see a range of partner organisations joining our celebrations on their social media channels helping us to raise awareness of our sport, including Sport for Confidence, Irwin Mitchell, Every Body Moves, Portland College, WheelPower, CP Teens, Activity Alliance, London Youth Games, Stoke City in the Community, The Ann Craft Trust, Scottish Disability Sport, Disability Sport Wales, British Blind Sport, Dwarf Sport Association, Bolton Wanderers in the Community, and RoundWorks IT. We would like to thank everyone who shared NBD content on social media for their support with our celebrations. 

We hope you enjoyed celebrating National Boccia Day as much as we did. Thank you to everyone for getting involved in the celebrations to help us raise awareness of our sport – none of the activity outlined above would have been possible without you!