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Boccia NSW State Titles

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Boccia Paralympians set for Gold in Paris

Paralympians Daniel Michel and Jamieson Leeson are the team to beat in Paris later this year, and we will be cheering them on.

They will represent Australia in the BC3 category of Boccia, and headline the Boccia NSW State Titles documentary on Helping Hands this week.

Boccia is one of only two sports played at the Paralympics which does not have an Olympic equivalent. In simple terms, the aim of Boccia is to throw or roll your balls to be closest to the jack, sort of like lawn bowls. The player whose balls are closest to the jack the most times wins.

The recent NSW State Titles was a highly anticipated ranking event ahead of the Paris Paralympics.

21-year-old Jamieson has been playing Boccia for six years. She was introduced to the sport by her mother and discovered she had a natural ability for the sport. 

Within months, she joined the Australian Boccia team and is now a seasoned international athlete with World Title Medals and other accolades to her name. Her highest achievement to date is winning an individual silver and pairs gold at the 2022 World Championships.

“(Boccia) is very much a strategic sport. I’m definitely very brainy, so I really enjoy the strategy behind the game, and the community. The Boccia community is amazing. I’ve made so many friends and family through it.” 

Jamieson's arch rival in the singles competition, and partner in the pairs, is 28-year-old Daniel Michel.

A self-confessed sport lover, Daniel recalls his first encounter with Boccia.

“I was at a camp that I used to go to for people with disabilities when I just assumed that (Boccia) was going to be another sport that I couldn’t play. But for whatever reason, I decided to go along and have a look anyway and quickly realised that it was a sport designed for people exactly like me. From that moment on … I dove right in and wanted to take it as far as I could.” 

Daniel is the only Australian athlete to win an individual medal at a Paralympic Games in Boccia, bringing home the Bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.  He is also a two-time World Champion and former world number one in the sport.

Daniel and Jamieson both compete in the BC3 category of Boccia – which entitles competitors to the use a ramp and partner with a ramp operator.

“Our ranking on the world stage in BC3 is so high that we’re expected to win medals in Paris," says Richard Boele, President of Boccia Australia.  "The other countries are just working hard to make sure that the medals we win aren’t gold.” 

Boccia is one of the most inclusive sports and, not surprisingly, is one of the fastest growing sports around the world.

National Boccia Head Coach, Ken Halliday has seen countless individuals living with a disability blossom into living fulfilling and meaningful lives they didn’t previously believe possible. 

“Most people with a disability would not be able to play sport if it wasn’t for this sport of Boccia," says Ken. 

"It doesn’t only change the fact that they can play a sport, it changes their whole demeanour and they’ve got more confidence in themselves to do other things in life …This sport enables them to actually come to life and it really opens a whole new meaning to them in their life.” 

Jamieson is the perfect example. Today, she is an independent woman living in Sydney, an international athlete, studying at the University of New South Wales and a QANTAS Ambassador for the Paris Paralympic Games.



See THE BOCCIA NSW STATE TITLES story and the full catalogue of Helping Hands documentaries at Catch up on full episodes of Helping Hands on 9NOW.  


#helpinghandstvau #makingtheworldabetterplace #documentary #gamechangers #impactmakers #boccia #bocciaaustralia #inclusion #qantas #disability #empowerment #community #paris2024 #imaginewhatwecando 

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