“All the athletes involved on basketball and climbing tried the bocce court when they were not doing their sport and they were really happy to have several activities on offer,” Fournier said.
“They thought bocce was fun because there were a lot of close games, so they were really focused on it … some of them even preferred bocce to our national sport, pétanque!”
The inflatable court used at the event was one of five Competition Packabocce courts purchased by Special Olympics France to grow bocce over the next few years. Produced by Packaworld, the courts provide a high-quality playing experience and are easy to transport, set up and store.
Fournier said he hoped to use more of the courts for a major bocce tournament in Paris next year, run in partnership with Toyota. That event was likely to be a unified sports event, involving athletes with and without intellectual disabilities playing together in teams.
“Bocce is ideal for unified sports because everyone can compete on a level playing field.”
Packaworld Chief Executive Peter Roberts congratulated Special Olympics France on its work growing bocce in France.
“It’s blowing up in the USA and across Asia-Pacific, including in high schools, so it’s no surprise bocce playing numbers are rising in France and other countries across Europe.”
Bocce’s accessibility to people of all ages has led to it becoming the fourth most popular sport in the Special Olympics programme globally, behind only football, athletics and basketball.
Packabocce courts were used at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, Germany, earlier this year. They are regularly chosen to host the bocce events at Special Olympics regional, national and state games, as well as in grass-roots programmes and social leagues run at hospitality venues around the world.
> Find out more about our portable bocce courts on our Packabocce product page.
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