A unique aspect of this year’s competition was the inclusion of the inaugural Paola Poggio Memorial Shield. Paola was a popular bocce coach and committee member, a cornerstone of Special Olympics in Gibraltar, who sadly passed away earlier in the year. Her contribution to bocce and Special Olympics in Gibraltar is commemorated by the Shield, which was presented to the team that secured the most points overall.
Rebecca Mallor and Nicola Wooldridge of the Isle of Man celebrated winning gold in the doubles event. Isle of Man also claimed silver in the doubles event, with Gibraltar taking bronze in a hard-fought contest. In the team event Gibraltar rallied to seize the gold with a triumphant 9-1 win.
After the dramatic team challenge finale Gibraltar won the Shield, with an overall score of 48 points to the Isle of Man’s 37. The Shield was fittingly presented by Paola’s family in front of a distinguished audience that included representatives from the governments of Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, as well as enthusiastic supporters.
Packaworld Chief Executive Peter Roberts said he was pleased to see the difference the courts were making in Gibraltar.
“It was just magic to see how proud the competitors were to represent their countries. It’s fantastic to see our Packabocce courts helping to create these kinds of experiences for bocce players all around the world”.
Packaworld’s Packabocce courts made their first European appearances at top level European competitions during the Special Olympics Germany National Games in Berlin and Special Olympics Malta Invitational Games earlier this year.
The courts have become a mainstay of the international Special Olympics bocce scene – primarily because of their portability and quality.
Their portability makes it possible for organisers to set them up quickly, both indoors and outdoors. It also allows them to create a legacy after national competitions have taken place, with many Special Olympics bodies taking them on the road or providing them to local groups to help grow bocce participation in local communities.
Ms Risso says a similar approach will be taken in Gibraltar to provide bocce opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
"Future competitions will use these courts but before then we expect to start using them indoors in our own Special Olympics complex for regular weekly training sessions.”
Video: Bocce at the Special Olympics Gibraltar National Games
> Want more information about our portable bocce courts? Visit our Packabocce product page.
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