Many Firsts at This Year’s Boccia Blast
Jamie McKee beat out six other opponents to win gold in his hometown of London, Ontario
Ottawa, ON (September 15, 2023) – The 32nd Annual London Cannonballs’ Boccia Blast came to a close this past weekend and was another huge success. The competition included individual play only and featured incredible skill and athleticism on display, plus many upsets over the three days. A total of 35 athletes competed.
“It was a year of firsts!” said Tammy McLeod, Vice President, London Cannonballs.
At Gus Sacrey’s (Trenton, ON) first Boccia Blast ever in the Open class, he went home with a gold, playing against those in the BC4, BC5, and Open mixed category. Sacrey was also the recipient of the Debbie Willows Spirit of the Games Award, for the best sportsmanship at the tournament.
BC1 rookie athlete, Kyle Scott (Hamilton, ON) won his first gold medal to date. Former National Team athlete, Hanif Mawji (Burnaby, BC) and current National Team BC2 female Lois Martin (St. John’s, NL) came in second and third place respectively behind him. Scott’s victory was even more impressive, given that that he only started competing in boccia 16 months ago.
The BC2 category was stacked with talent and, yet, London Cannonballs’ very own athlete, Jamie McKee (London, ON), made his way through to the top only losing one game and taking home the gold medal in his class.
“My experience at this year’s Boccia Blast tournament was phenomenal! I learned a ton and had stiff competition! I am super excited to carry on my career in boccia and trying to set my next goal! I’m now shooting to compete at Nationals for Team Ontario. I wasn’t expecting to place that high because I felt a little more pressure at home as a local player.”
BC2 athlete, Maggie Julien (Sudbury, ON), received a silver medal and Nathan Bragg (Vancouver, BC) a bronze behind McKee.
In BC3 Marylou Martineau (Québec City, QC) won gold, fourteen-year-old Carter Plumb (Brampton, ON) the silver, and Joshua Gautier (Niagara Falls, ON) the bronze.
On top of the National Open, Boccia Blast offered a junior competition as well, entitled, the “London Cannonballs Boccia Blast Junior Cup”. Two junior athletes, Emerson Bourque (London, ON) and Spancer Poeluev (Waterloo, ON) played three games against each other. Bourque only started playing three weeks prior to the tournament and it was her first ever boccia competition to date.
McLeod had special thanks to give for another successful Boccia Blast: “Thank you to the referees, classifiers, and all the volunteers who came out! Thank you, especially, to all the athletes for putting on a great show! We are glad that everyone had a blast and see you again next year.”
Boccia Blast is the oldest annual boccia tournament on the calendar, since its inception in 1991.
Find the rest of the scores from the tournament 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 leads, develops and grows boccia from grassroots to producing World Champions, and we collaborate with partners to increase participation of Canadians with physical disabilities in sport.
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.