Paralympic and former World number one athlete in the BC3 category, Jacob Thomas died peacefully over the weekend. BISFed sends our deepest condolence to his family particularly his dad and Assistant Mike, his mum Caroline and sister Polly.
Tributes have come in from around the world through social media to a player who retired just before t the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016. Teammate, Scott McCowan said “His name will always be associated with putting us on the world map once again! I have so many great memories with him and his Dad whether it be the incredible experience of London 2012, winning our first British major medal in so many years in Portugal, or winning the pairs silver medal together at the World Championships and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to share it with!.” Current BC3 World Champion and World Number 1, Grigoris Polychronidis described Jacob as his friend, a gentleman, and one of the greatest boccia players. Jacob, of course, was World Number One himself in the BC3 category in 2015/2016. Cheol Hyeon Kwon, former South Korea Head Coach; and coach/assistant to the current Paralympic Champion Howon Jeong said that the world had lost one of the greatest BC3 Athletes.
Jacob competed in the London Paralympic Games in 2012 finishing 11th in Individual and 5th in Pairs. He finished 2nd in Pair and 3rd in individual at the BISFed 2014 Being World Boccia Championships. He also won a countless number of medals at international competition throughout his career. UK Coach, Glynn Tromans said: “He was an absolute joy to coach because he and Mike were so full of ideas and innovations. He saw things on a boccia court that nobody else did and was so influential in the development of the BC3 game. He made friends wherever he went but his dedication; willingness to work hard; and drive for high attainment made him a ferocious and formidable opponent.”
BISFed’s President, David Hadfield said: “Jacob was a true inspiration to everyone who knew him. As a world-class athlete, he achieved so much. He showed us all what is possible through his determination, his dedication and his unfailingly cheerful personality. He will be sadly missed”