Boccia Canada Revives National Espoir Team in 2022
Espoir Team Members, Olivier Dussault and Olivier Roy, competed in a close match at the 2021 Canadian Boccia Championships
Ottawa, ON (May 31, 2022) – Boccia Canada has selected four athletes to the Espoir Team in 2022. Grigore Ciobanu (Laval, QC), Olivier Dussault (Québec City, QC), Olivier Roy (Québec City, QC), and Ryan Rondeau (Edmonton, AB) are new to the team and excited to improve their skills in the program.
The Espoir program is making a comeback after nine years. It was originally created in 2005 to prepare athletes for the National Team. The goal for the program in 2022 is for the athletes selected to experience “quality support and coaching expertise, so that they can continue to improve their boccia skills,” explains High Performance Director, Mario Delisle. “We also want to develop a sense of belonging to the Boccia Canada High Performance Program.”
“Coaches will be in regular contact with the Espoir athletes through remote training sessions, invitationals to train at the National Training Centre in Montréal, and access to some of the National Team specialists. The Espoir team will also be provided with information about the best equipment to use and one-on-one development of their strategies through expert coaching,” Delisle says.
The athletes selected had their skills put on full display at the 2021 Canadian Championships in Québec City last November. Rondeau came in third place at the Canadian Championships in a stacked category of BC3. He explained, “it meant the world to be on the podium in Québec City. It meant that all the hard work, time, and energy was paying off… It feels amazing to considered [for the Espoir team]. The opportunities it’ll provide will only do good things for my boccia career!” Ryan also came in first place at the Défi sportif AlterGo National Boccia Open this April.
Dussault and Roy stunned everyone in their hometown of Québec City at the Canadian Boccia Championships, coming in fourth and fifth respectively in the BC2 class. Dussault has been part of the Lions Boccia Quebec Association since 2018 while Roy for ten years now. They have shown that they’re skills are of international-level caliber and are motivated to keep improving.
Ciobanu, whose brother is Paralympian Iulian Ciobanu, came in third at the Championships last year.
“It’s an honour to have been selected for the Espoir team. Being selected means that I have been trusted, so I have to work hard to maintain their trust and that comes with a lot of effort and work. I look forward to doing everything possible in order to have good results and medal as well of course.”
The Espoir athletes are expected to attend training camps at the Institut national du sport du Québec, which is the official training centre of the National Boccia Team. National coach Simon Larouche has been identified to work in close collaboration with these athletes.
You can view Boccia Canada national rankings and results here.
About Boccia Canada
Boccia Canada is the boccia delivery arm of the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (CCPSA), the National Sport Organization for the Paralympic sport of boccia. Boccia Canada is focused on providing athletes and individuals of all ages and skill with the chance to play a unique Paralympic sport. CCPSA collaborates with partners to increase the participation of Canadians with cerebral palsy and related disabilities in sport and physical activity, while leading, developing and growing boccia from grassroots, to producing World and Paralympic Champions.
Boccia is a Paralympic sport of precision and strategy similar to lawn bowling or curling, played by athletes with Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and related disabilities. It is one of only two Paralympic sports that do not have an Olympic counterpart. Athletes compete in one of six sport classes based on their level and type of disability: BC1, BC2, BC3, BC4, BC5, and Open. For more information on boccia, visit www.bocciacanada.ca.