Over 20 teams take part in the Boccia Nationals Team Championship
The sight of coloured balls and the excited shouts made the Boccia Nationals Team Championship in Chennai a much colourful and happy event. Over 20 teams from across the country took part in the two-day championship which was held at Adventure Zone, outside Chennai.
Boccia is a precision ball sport played by athletes with physical disabilities. Originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy, it now includes athletes with other disabilities affecting motor skills.
Boccia is played in over 50 countries. In India, NGO Ektha Foundation is playing a big part in promoting the game.
It's a game that is not all brawn but brain. It requires a high mind and eye coordination, and is very exciting to watch as the winning margin comes down to inches. So it is quite nerve wracking! I would ask everyone to come forward and support us in taking the event and concept forward. - P S Deepak, Co-founder Ektha Foundation
The teams came from far off states and fought it out in a fun spirit to win the trophy. The top honours went to Team Rural Development Trust from Andhra Pradesh. The names of the winning team members were Mahesh Babu, Charan and Shiva.
The coach of the winning team, Rajshekhar, said that the children enjoyed meeting players from other teams. "Our players have cerebral palsy and they enjoyed this opportunity too travel here and meet players from other teams. We were confident of our chances and the event was organised really well."
The other teams said they would be back to fight it out another day.
One of the game's most avid champions is Roopa Rajendran from Team Twin Twigs in Tamil Nadu.
Rajendran practices regularly and hopes to play at an international level. "This was a super experience. I have been playing for quite some time and I practice every Saturday from 4 to 6 pm. It looks very simple but when you start playing it is quite challenging. My dream is to play in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics".