Medals from the Canadian Boccia Championships
Québec City, QC (November 23, 2021) – The 2021 Canadian Boccia Championships finished on Saturday with BC1/BC2 Team, BC3 Pairs, and BC4/BC5/Open Mixed Pairs competition. The event marked the first Canadian Boccia Championships since 2019 and the second nationally sanctioned competition since COVID put a halt to all events.
In the BC1/BC2 Team event Newfoundland took gold with members Michael Mercer (St. John’s, NL) and Stephen Westcott (Conception Bay South, NL) both earning back to back medals in Québec City. On Friday, Mercer earned a gold medal in BC2 individual while Westcott gathered a bronze in the BC1 Individual portion of the Championships. They were joined in team play on Saturday by Hayley Redmond (St. John’s, NL) who is a member of the National Boccia Training Squad.
Mercer worked hard at training during the pandemic which served him well. Fortunately, he also had direct access to his coach Cluney Mercer, his father. “I was fortunate enough to be able to stick to my training routine most of the time during the pandemic because I had access to a gym. I focused a lot on first ball drills and covering the jack which we saw a lot of this week at Nationals.”
The BC1/BC2 Team competition had Québec finishing with a silver medal and Ontario in third.
Similar to Mercer, hometown favourite Marylou Martineau (Québec City, QC) also had great success at the tournament winning gold in BC3 Pairs to go with her second place finish in BC3 individual competition.
BC3 National Boccia Training Squad athlete Philippe Lord (Blainville, QC) was happy to have played in Pairs alongside his teammate, Martineau, after a rough start to the tournament: “Unfortunately, in the individual event I didn’t play as I wanted to but in Pairs everything worked well for me… The communication between myself and my teammates Marylou [and Alexandre Raymond as substitute] was good. We played against fierce competition and in the end, we came out on top. We achieved what we wanted to do, and I’m really happy.”
The Mixed Pairs division was made up of BC4, BC5, and Open class athletes.
Iulian Ciobanu (Montréal, QC) and Kylie Waters (Victoria, BC) successfully took the gold. Ciobanu had just come off a gold medal performance in the individual BC4 class and attributed some of his success to the new style of play he adopted pre-Tokyo Paralympics, which he competed at earlier this year.
“At this Championships, I had a lot of success from start to the finish for the first time in my career in both events. For that, I am very satisfied. I used to play more aggressively, but with the help of my coach we found a new balance… In the pairs event, too, I kept that style of play. We played a precise game. We didn’t have big displacements. We played close to the jack.”
Ciobanu, along with several of his National Boccia Training Squad teammates will now turn their attention to international competition and the Sao Paulo World Boccia Americas Regional Championships from December 6-14, 2021, a qualifier for the 2022 World Boccia Championships.
José Malo, Executive Director of the host organization, Québec Cerebral Palsy Sports Association, was very happy with the outcome of the event: “We are very proud of taking on the challenge of hosting the 2021 Canadian Boccia Championships. No case of COVID was found, very strict standards were in place to protect our clientele, and we had a team of people dedicated to applying these measures throughout the competition. At all levels this event was a success. Every employee and volunteer can declare this event a mission accomplished.”
The 2022 Canadian Boccia Championships will be held in London, Ontario and hosted by the London Cannonballs Boccia Club.
Gold: Michael Mercer* (St. John’s, NL), Hayley Redmond (St. John’s, NL) & Stephen Westcott* (Conception Bay South, NL)
Silver: Justine Bureau (Lévis, QC), Danik Allard* (Bois-des-Filion, QC), Dave Richer (Montréal, QC), Olivier Roy (Québec City, QC) & Dorya Belal (Brossard, QC)
Bronze: James Davis* (Thorold, ON), Lance Cryderman* (Sudbury, ON) & Maggie Julien (Sudbury, ON)
Gold: Philippe Lord (Blainville, QC); Ass: Gaétan Lord, Marylou Martineau* (Québec City, QC); Ass: Josée Duquette & Alexandre Raymond (Sorel-Tracy, QC); Ass: Isabelle Blette
Silver: Éric Bussière* (Verchères, QC); Ass: Francine Hébert, Joëlle Guérette (Montréal, QC); Ass: Jonathan Manseau & Alexandre Ziegler (Montréal, QC); Ass: Éric Ziegler
Bronze: Ryan Rondeau* (Edmonton, AB); Ass: Meghan Lewis & Marianne Paquet (Québec City, QC); Ass: Gilles Paquet
BC4/BC5/Open Mixed Pairs
Gold: Iulian Ciobanu* (Montréal, QC) & Kylie Waters (Victoria, BC)
Silver: Marco Dispaltro* (St.-Jérôme, QC) & Terrie Hefford (Mount Pearl, NL)
Bronze: Gregore Ciobanu* (Laval, QC) & Alexandre Lemaire (Kingsey Falls, QC)
NOTE: Double Medalists are Identified with a *
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.