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The introduction of a new sport across campus will see LUSU setting the standard for other students’ unions up and down the country, with regards to disabled access to sports.
Boccia is currently a sport in the Paralympics, and is suitable for people with disabilities, as it is a non-contact sport, and is more focused on skills than athletic ability.
Torri Crapper, LUSU VP (Equality, Welfare and Diversity) explained the importance of the introduction of the sport: “It’s not something exclusively for students with disabilities, it’s something all students can do together.”
“It’s moving towards a more supportive outlook […] it means all students can participate in sporting competitions together.”
Crapper explained how she and two LUSU Part-Time Officers had submitted the proposal to EWD Council, and had been successful in their application for funding.
This funding will allow for two Boccia sets to be bought by the Union, for students to then use when the league or tournament is set up.
Speaking of how Lancaster is being a trendsetter to other students’ unions, Crapper said: “There’s no other students’ union in the country trying to set up access-friendly sports on their campuses so it will be us leading the way.”
Boccia is a sport thought to have originated in Greece, and involves throwing coloured balls at a white ball, the jack. The game can be played individually, in pairs, or teams of three. The game has been organised on an international level by the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association.
“We’re hoping it will take off and people will want to join in and take part and have a bit of a laugh with people, rather than some being excluded from sports across campus,” said Crapper.