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Bocce to become a regular local sport

Bocce to become a regular local sport


The sport of Bocce may soon be regularly played by Vincentians.{{more}}

Leading the effort in making this objective a reality, is the local Special Olympics Committee, which held a Bocce demonstration, last Saturday afternoon.

The demonstration was done on a makeshift court, at St. George’s Cathedral Car Park, the venue of a fundraising barbecue held by the Committee. The event was organized by the Board to commemorate Evelyn Kennedy-Shriver Day, held annually on September 24, to honour the founder of the Special Olympic Movement, the late Evelyn Kennedy-Shriver. It was postponed to October 15 for logistical reasons.

Anyone who wants to learn the sport of Bocce can do so, by getting in contact with the School for Children with Special Needs or any member of the Board of the Special Olympics Committee.

Board member and Coach of the Special Olympics Bocce team Terrence Davis told SEARCHLIGHT last Saturday afternoon that their aim is to get more persons involved in Bocce and ultimately have a unified team to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2015.

Davis said: “We are trying to spread the sport to involve other persons, including the corporate sector.”

At present, it is mainly the Special Olympians here who are involved in the sport of Bocce.

Davis, however, envisages that with the rise in the sport in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, this country could field a unified team in the near future.

“Unified, meaning special Olympians and normal people,” the articulate Davis said.

A one-day competition will be staged on Saturday, November 19, as the sensitization exercise continues.

This follows the regular practices done on Mondays and Saturdays at the St. George’s Cathedral Car Park or the Bishop’s College Playing Field.

Davis said that Bocce is one of the sports at the Special Olympics in which St. Vincent and the Grenadines has excelled.

He listed winning gold in the teams competition at the world’s Special Olympic Games in 1995, 1999 and 2003, as well as silver at those games in the individual category, also during the three Olympiads.

“It is a sport which we have even beaten the United States in,” Davis said with some satisfaction.

“It is very heartening to see persons who were involved then, are still around, ” Davis said, as the local committee returns to the active fold of Special Olympics.

Davis believes that with the “committed committee,” headed by Errol Allen, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will once more be vibrant and a force in Special Olympics.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was absent at the last two world games in 2007 and 2011.

Apart from Bocce, the sports of Football, Tennis, Track and Field, Floor Hockey and Aquatics, are practised here by the Special Olympians.

Bocce is traditionally played on natural soil and asphalt courts, 27.5 metres in length and 2.5 to 4 metres wide. Bocce balls can be made of metal or various kinds of plastic.

Players are permitted to throw the ball in the air using an underarm action. This is generally used to knock either the jack or another ball away, to attain a more favorable position.

Thanks to local power company Vinlec, and others, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will soon have a proper Bocce court in place. (RT)