How I got involved in Boccia

It all started for me when I left the catering trade in 2009 and became a member of staff at the BUILD charity in Norwich running the Wednesday club which is a social club for people with learning difficulties. As I was an ageing sportsman I needed a sport I could teach within the confines of the club room which was on the small side.

Some months later I was asked to attend a promotional fair in Norwich to promote the BUILD charity and that is where I saw a lady and her daughter playing what I described at the time as some sort of ball game. I became intrigued so I went over and introduced myself to Ann and Catherine Meijer who told me all about this game of Boccia.

I came away from that event feeling very pleased that I might have found the sport I was looking for, to teach at the club.

So I started a sports club within BUILD’s Wednesday club and with the help of Ellen Vanlint from Active Norfolk we put on several sports including Boccia which my members liked straight away. Some weeks later Ellen asked if I was able to help with an event at the UEA sports park - I jumped at the chance to be involved in sport again. When I turned up I was asked to help with the Boccia class.

From that day I haven’t looked back, I still help or should I say run all the Boccia events for Ellen and Active Norfolk. I set myself a goal in the early days, to bring Boccia to Norfolk in a big way which is still ongoing.

Roy McGee coaching a player in Boccia Roy McGee coaching a group of Boccia players

Becoming a coach

So far I have gained a Gold Leadership Award with Boccia England, a Level One Boccia coach’s award and a Level One referee’s award. With these awards I now work closely with the Special Olympics and Boccia England.

At the present time I have three thriving Boccia clubs here in Norwich plus coaching, teaching, training and promoting Boccia to disability hubs, special schools and any organisations who would like to learn and play the sport of Boccia.

As well as having teams in the Boccia England National League I also run my own competition once a year in the month of October which is attended by many teams from around Norfolk.

It has always been my aim to keep Boccia in the front of sports here in Norfolk and I’m doing that with the help of some wonderful people from Active Norfolk, Special Olympics Norfolk, volunteers, parents and most all my brilliant Boccia Athletes.  

You can read more about Boccia on our sports page or visit the Norfolk Boccia website.