With only 215 days to the start of the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, British boccia players are getting ready for a two-day national team training camp scheduled to start this Saturday at West Nottinghamshire College. In addition to Rio bound boccia players, the camp includes other national team members and is open to subs who are trying to make the national team. This camp will be followed by a two-day English national team camp scheduled to start on February 13.
Great Britain qualified for the Rio Paralympics in the BC1/2 event at last year’s European Teams & Pairs Championships after winning gold. The team included David Smith, Nigel Murray, Joshua Rowe, and Claire Taggart. As a unit, they have had a lot of experience training and competing together in the past few years. Their ability to compete well together have contributed to their current ranking of second in the world, with only Thailand ahead of them.
British boccia players also shine as individuals. Smith is ranked second in the world in the BC1 event, while Murray is sixth in BC2, Rowe is fourteenth and Taggart is fifteenth. Beyond the Paralympic qualified players, Jacob Thomas is currently ranked as the world number one, Scott McCowan is ranked eighth and Patrick Wilson is ranked eighteenth in the BC3 event. In BC4 world rankings, Stephen McGuire is ranked eighth and Kieran Steer is ranked twelfth in the world. The country has more depth with other players cracking the top 100 in the world in their event.