This weekend, England’s national boccia team is in camp at West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom. People at camp include BC1 and BC2 national team coach Matt Kendrick (BC1s, BC2s) and BC3 national team coach Gary Jackson. It also includes Pace Boccia coach Sunil Birdy who is the new BC4 English team coach. It is the fourth national team camp during the 2014/2015 season.
Boccia in Great Britain is currently doing really well. The national team is currently ranked first in the world after a third place finish at last year’s world championships, a second place finish at the Povoa World Open 2014 and a third place finish at the Montreal World Open 2014. The country is also ranked first in the world in the BC3 pair event, second in the BC4 pair event, and David Smith is ranked first in the world in the BC1 individual event while Emma Goodchild is ranked 53rd in the same event. In the BC2 individual event, Nigel Murray is currently ranked 7th in the world, while Joshua Rowe is ranked 20th and Martin Davis is ranked 24th. In the BC3 individual event, Jacob Thomas is ranked fourth while Scott McCowan is ranked seventh, Patrick Wilson is ranked 23rd and Jess Hunter is ranked 42nd. In the BC4 individual event, Stephen McGuire is ranked sixth, Kieran Steer is ranked 19th, Amie McDown is ranked 36th, Jamie Docherty is ranked 45th and Evie Edwards is ranked 57th.
The nine member strong 2012 Summer Paralympics team also did well, with Smith winning silver in the Mixed individual BC1, and the team of Dan Bentley, Nigel Murray, Zoe Robinson and Smith winning bronze in the Mixed team BC1-2 event. With a few new players in the international ranking mix, the team will be looking to replicate and improve on that success at the 2016 Summer Paralympics. Some of them should be looking to qualify at the 2015 Boccia European Continental Cup scheduled for early April in Spain.