The inaugural ActivLives Inclusive Boccia Tournament was held recently at the Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, in Stowmarket. The event was a tremendous success with 47 competitors, playing a total of 129 ends of boccia, over 44 matches. There were over 90 people attending the event, during the course of the day.

“Boccia (pronounced ‘botcha’), is a truly inclusive sport”, said Mike McCarthy, from ActivLives. “It is a target game, played with balls, where all of the participants are required to sit down when they play. It is one of those sports that is relatively easy to play, but very difficult to play well. The sport is particularly suitable for players with a disability and has been on the Paralympic programme since 1984”.

The tournament in Stowmarket consisted of four divisions, where players competed in pairs, or teams of three, in a round-robin format. The day concluded with a ‘spider decider’ mass team event, with all 47 players involved.

“The response to today’s event has been absolutely brilliant. It is great to see so many people getting involved with the sport of boccia in this part of our county”, said Mike.

Many thanks to our brilliant team of volunteers and also to our supporting partners Special Olympics Suffolk, Special Olympics GB, Boccia England, Everyone Active and Active Suffolk.

If you would like to find out more about getting involved with boccia in the Stowmarket, Ipswich or Felixstowe areas, please call ActivLives on 01473 345350 or email

(Above: The moment the final was won and a tense part of one of the pairs matches.)