2014 was the first year of implementation of the European Union program “Erasmus + Sport”. 42 projects received grant-aid with grant-aid totaling over €8 million. Only 2 projects targeted “People with disabilities” . Among them was the “BOCCIA – Enhancing the quality of life of people with disabilities and their environment through Paralympic sport Boccia” project that was prepared by Sports Rehabilitation Association START, Poznan, in close cooperation with Polish Boccia Federation.
The project focused on 6 NGOs from Bulgaria, Greece, FYR of Macedonia, Turkey, Poland and Georgia had the following goals:
- Transfer of effective solutions that activates vitally, equalizes opportunities and health-enhancing physical activities of disabled using Boccia.
- Increase participation in, and equal access to sport for all through training workshops for future Boccia instructors and volunteers/Animators of life activity in people with disabilities.
- Obtaining and training volunteers for NGO and “Animators of life activity in people with disabilities” in Partner Organizations and also working to disabled people environment and local communities in individual countries, Creating Boccia Teams in Partner Organizations countries pursuing systematically integration Boccia classes for NGO and local communities.
The project has a number of other key benefits and teaches participants to learn to respect each other, gives them a chance to meet people with disabilities and people without disabilities from different places, meet people with different religions and interact with people they might not ordinarily meet.
BISFed look forward to seeing boccia grow globally and are excited to see more organisations taking part in boccia.
Article and images provided by the Polish Boccia Federation.