The first event of 2015 on the school calendar of events was held at the Jack Kane Centre on Tuesday 13th January - the Lothian Disability Sport Boccia Festival. The event brought more than 80 young people from across the region to the East of Edinburgh to participate in fun skill sessions during the morning, before progressing on to a slightly more competitive element in the afternoon.
Edinburgh Leisure have taken real ownership of this event over the past couple of years and it's great to see such a large team plan, co-ordinate and deliver the festival, which again proved a great success. Heather Williams, Community Inclusion Officer with Edinburgh Leisure again took the lead on the event and has formed some excellent partnerships across the city, with the Edinburgh University Ladies Hockey providing support to the young people and Boccia coaches alike. Edinburgh Active Schools were also present on the day, in addition to encouraging a large school entry from the city, with Kaimes, Oaklands, Braidburn, Pilrig Park, Prospect Bank, St Crispins, and Woodlands all participating on the day. East Lothian were another region well represented with Musselburgh Grammar, Preston Lodge HS and Ross High all enjoying the day.
Patrick Wilson provided the young people with a display of top class Boccia, demonstrating skills that have seen the BC3 player progress rapidly through the sports pathway. Patrick, who has cerebral palsy, competed in his first SDS Championship as recently as 2011 and is now travelling the world representing Great Britain, competing in Beijing, China in September last year.