Rotary clubs in southeast England unite communities through boccia event

Rotary clubs in southeast England unite communities through boccia event

The true spirit of Rotary fellowship was on full display down in Kent as people with all different levels of ability were brought together by sport.

Nine Rotary clubs from the south east of England came together in Sandwich, Kent, to hold a boccia event to bring together their local communities.

The competition was held at Sandwich Technology School and the Rotarians worked to create an event accessible for everyone no matter how able-bodied they  were, with boccia being the perfect sport to allow people with various disabilities to compete and have fun.

42 competitors from across Rotary District 1120 (southeast England) of different abilities took part in the event which was the first time the nine clubs from District 1120 had collaborated on one event.

It was the first time the event had been held since the COVID-19 pandemic, back when only four Rotary clubs worked together to organise it.

John Gisbey with Judges Angela Ford and Grace Dennis from KCC Children’s Services.

Matches were played over four courts and everyone received a medal for their participation, with Rotary District 1120’s Governor, Paul Frostick, and the Town Mayors of Hythe and Sandwich, Jim Martin and Jeff Franklin, presenting the medals.

Paul commented: “That was a most enjoyable event. The participants obviously had a great time and this event certainly demonstrates Rotary in Action!”

The event was organised by Past President of the Rotary Club of Sandwich, John Gisbey, who had been set the task by Peter Sherred, Assistant District Governor for the Rotary clubs taking part.

John reported: “The outcome of the competition on this occasion was that the final between Swalecliffe A and Active Lives from Canterbury saw a win for Swalecliffe A by a narrow margin of 3 to 2. The third place went to Shepway Community Services.

“Ten teams took part and all participants received a commemorative medallion at the awards ceremony witnessed by all nine Presidents of the Rotary clubs involved.”

Peter said: “It was a great privilege to witness the exuberance of the competitors who had come from various areas for the competition. The school kindly made available the Sports Hall and were very generous hosts of the event.

“It is hoped that this inaugural collaborative event involving coastal Rotary clubs from Romney Marsh to Sandwich (including Hythe, Folkestone, Folkestone Channel, Dover, South Foreland, Deal and Three Castles of Deal) will be developed in future years.”