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Montréal, QC (April 26, 2022) – Perseverance and passion was on full display at the 2022 Défi sportif AlterGo National Boccia Open as winners in BC1, BC2, BC3, BC4, BC5, and Open took to the podium. The competition took place at the Maurice-Richard Arena with athletes from coast to coast displaying amazing performances and a kindred spirit as everyone were reunited once more for the annual event.
 
The BC3 class was packed with a mix of fourteen competitors from Québec, Ontario, and Alberta. Ryan Rondeau (Edmonton, AB) and Esraa Sbeiti (Montréal, QC) competed in the final against each other with the match very much in the balance going into the fourth and final end. Sbeiti was in a good position to score points but was unable to capitalize in the final seconds of her play and Rondeau came out on top 4-1.
 
It feels amazing to have won,” an ecstatic Rondeau noted immediately afterward.  “All the hard work we’ve been putting in has paid off and this justifies everything. We’re training the right way, with great coaching, and that has enabled us to further our game. I’m really relieved to have come in first and to feel I can accomplish something like that. It’s a stepping stone to other things. I’m really happy we were able to do it.”
 
BC3 athlete Alexandre Lemaire (Kingsey Falls, QC) beat Joshua Gautier (Niagara Falls, ON) 8-6 to steal bronze in a tightly contested match. Both players have recently been reclassified and have shown a lot of promise for the future in the BC3 category.
 
The BC2 class winner Dave Richer (Montréal, QC) had a second consecutive victory at Défi sportif AlterGo, going undefeated throughout the competition. “I’m really happy because I won the last tournament here [at the Défi sportif AlterGo] before the pandemic started. I’m not on the national team but I still practice the same. I am very proud of my victory and feel happy with the result. We’ll see if I win a third competition here at the Défi sportif AlterGo next year!”
 
Olivier Roy (Québec City, QC) took silver and Sandrine Dion (Laval, QC) the bronze in the BC2 class.
 
The Open class saw a new winner atop the podium. A very happy and excited Nancie Caldwell (Montréal, QC): “The game was very fun, very hard, and we played well. It was crazy! Very proud of myself.”
 
Richard Brochu (Montréal, QC) had some great placement shots that went answered by Caldwell to come in second while Daniel Hutchison (Victoria, BC) rounded out the group in bronze position.
 
In the BC1 class round robin pool, Stephen Westcott (Conception Bay South, NL) took gold while Chris Halpen (Victoria, BC) took silver and Justine Bureau (Lévis, QC) bronze.
 
Westcott was ecstatic to have been able to accomplish his objective of a medal placement, with the support of his family by his side: “I don’t know where I would be without the great people around me. I feel accomplished that I won gold. I did a lot of work at training coupled with the help of my sport assistant and parents… It takes a group of people to make this happen! I’ve been doing a lot of mental and physical training to give me the confidence that I can do anything… It feels amazing!”
 
In the BC5 class round robin pool,  Marc-Antoine Goupil (Honfleur, QC) was relieved to have finished the tournament with a gold: “I stayed calm during the games. I was in control. It’s my passion and it was fun! I feel relieved and proud of my performance.” He was followed by Terrie Hefford (Mount Pearl, NL) in silver and Leah Gustave (Montréal, QC) in bronze medal positions.
 
BC4 class athletes Marco Dispaltro (St-Jérôme, QC) and Grigore Ciobanu (Laval, QC) squared off against each other with National Boccia Team member Dispaltro coming out on top.
 
Everyone was happy to be back competing after a long-awaited return to Défi sportif AlterGo, a fixture on the national boccia circuit. “You could certainly sense the anticipation and excitement as day one of Défi got started,” noted Peter Leyser, Executive Director, Boccia Canada. “As we moved to day two and three, the skill and quality of play from these outstanding athletes continued to shine.”
 
The competition was held virtually in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The list of full results will be posted on the Boccia Canada Facebook page soon here

All results from previous Boccia Canada National Opens can be found here.


About Défi sportif AlterGo
Unique in the world, the Défi sportif AlterGo is the only event that has been bringing together elite and up-and-coming athletes of all functional limitations for 39 years. In 2022, the Défi sportif AlterGo presents a program that includes a reduced face-to-face component, a face-to-face component in schools and a virtual component. From April 22 to May 1, 2022, more than 4,000 athletes are expected for 10 days of competition. Twelve sports will be presented on 7 sites in Montreal and Longueuil. To consult the complete schedule and watch the webcast visit defisportif.com.

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.

About boccia
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.