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My friends from Empower first introduced me to boccia back in October 2017. I had never heard about the sport and thought it was a cross between curling and lawn bowling, so I told them “I don’t like curling.” They were very persistent and finally encouraged me to try it that following Saturday with them. It was instant, within 10 minutes I fell in love with the sport. I became excited by how challenging, enjoyable, and satisfying it can be.

Boccia as a sport has lifted me out of a deep depression, and I will forever be grateful for the sport in my life. Prior to 1998 I was an EMT, I was then involved in a drunk driving accident which resulted in me becoming a paraplegic, with no use of my legs and one arm. Boccia has helped me to understand that although I am disabled, it does not mean that I am unable to accomplish and achieve my ambitious goals and dreams.

Since 2017 I have developed and grown as an athlete, with encouragement from a couple of very special friends: Stephen, Hayley and Mike. In addition, my two coaches have helped me to succeed, along with my own dedication and hard work. I am proud that I have been able to qualify at the national level, which has enabled me to travel to exciting locations. In my first tournament, in London Ontario’s Boccia Blast, I was able to achieve a gold medal in the Pairs and 4th in the individual competition.

I am excited for my future in boccia and look forward to being able to compete in tournaments again once we are out of lockdown. Finally I encourage anyone who is disabled to not give up on their dreams, and to give boccia a chance, so you too can see how exciting and inspiring it can be.