Friday, 1 August 2014

Burkina does Boccia

Hello from team HSB!
The undisputed highlight of this week took place on Wednesday, when the team had the honour of attending Burkina Faso’s first official boccia tournament. The event was organised by the International Service Inclusive Sports team and saw local teams Arche and Saaba – both organisations which support people living with intellectual disabilities – play each other for the first time. 

All eyes were on Kouka Roumba, Track and Field Gold Medal winner at the 2011 Special Olympics 
Boccia is an inclusive sport, similar to boules; the players take turns to propel balls, aiming to end each round closer to the jack – knocking their opponent’s balls out of the way if necessary! For this event, players propelled balls by throwing, however boccia is open to players of all abilities, and it is possible to propel the ball by throwing, kicking, rolling, or using a device such as a ramp.  
Wednesday’s tournament kicked off with a qualifying match between the Saaba players. The jack was launched by Team Leader, Boukary, and the winning team went through to the next round, facing the smaller team, Arche.
Inclusive Sports Team Leader Boukary tries his hand at boccia 
The main match saw home side Saaba face Arche. The match was extremely close and kept everyone on the edge of their seats, right down to a 12-12 tie with match point to play for. Ultimately, Arche emerged victorious, taking the final point to a 12-13 win.  
Inclusive Sports volunteers ensuring accuracy down to the millimetre
Post-match, the teams, officials and volunteers sat down together for a Burkinabe speciality, riz gras – fried rice served with fish and vegetables, which, after an early start, we were all very grateful for! Congratulations to both Arche and Saaba for taking part, and to the Inclusive Sports team for having worked so hard to organise the event. We are looking forward to the next one already!
Website of L’Arche International http://www.larche.org/en

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