Team USA prepares with focus for Parapans 2015
Coming off a fantastic national, Team USA is poised to bring back hardware from the Parapan Games. The USA Boccia’s Parapan team will be competing on August 8th-11th in Toronto. Team USA is represented by Austin Hanson (BC3), Cornelius Oatis (BC1), Bridgid Mason (BC1), Marck Harrison (BC2), and newcomer Matt Hiltner (BC2). Troy Berry served as a BC1 alternate to team.
Cornelius Oatis, Marck Harrison, Brigid Mason and Matt Hiltner will be playing both BC1/BC2 Team play and Individual competition. Austin Hanson will be competing in the Individual BC3 competition. Team USA will be playing against Boccia players from Argentina, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela.
Team USA has been practicing continuously over the past year and right up to the day before they leave for Toronto with the hope of being in prime form for the four day Parapan competition. When most of athletes were on the road back home from this year’s USA Boccia National Championships, Team USA was training in Gardner, KS preparing for this event. “It has been nice that for team practice we have 2 athletes from Columbus, OH and 2 from Chicago so that there has been a sense of team even when we cannot be together as one squad all the time”, states head coach Kathy Brinker.
According to Coach Brinker, the motto for Team USA is “one TEAM- one shot at a time.” Really, we are thinking about setting up 2 or 3 shots ahead to be in perfect position. But at that moment in time when the ball is released from our head stick or our hand all we can think about is that one shot. That one shot represents our one Team, Team USA.
Please find ways over the next week to support Team USA. One Team, one shot at a time! Follow USA Boccia’s Parapan Team on our website http://usaboccia.org on our Facebook page and on Twitter!!! Updates daily starting on the August 6th.
Note: USA Boccia has 3 referees invited to the Parapan American Games. Mary Knudsen will be Head Referee. Harold Johnson will be Assistant Head Referee. Cornell Markham has been invited as a Court Referee.
USA Boccia Rankings and 2015 National Results
2015 US Individual Rankings : Click Here
2015 National Championship : Click Here
The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation has informed USA Boccia that they will be the recipients of a 2015 Quality of Life Project Grant. The purpose of the grant is to design an online presence for local organizations to access boccia ramp designs, classification materials, and webinars of the sport specific to individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI). The goals are education about boccia, assistive technology and equipment to assist players with SCI to play the sport and to develop long-term partnerships with the SCI community.
USA Boccia is expected to serve at least 60 individuals with SCI during the one-year grant period. The reviewers were enthusiastic about this proposal because boccia is one of the few sports appropriate for individuals with high level SCI. If you know individuals with SCI please have them contact USA Boccia as we will be within the month of September setting up regional trainings. This is the first of many grants that USA boccia hopes to receive over the years to educate and grow the sport of boccia within the United States.
We just received notification from the USOC that Austin will be receiving a special grant in order to attend the 2015 Boccia World Open Santiago de Cali-Colombia this October. We are hopeful that by attend these Games Austin will solidify his position for a Wild Card spot at next year's Paralympics in Rio For more information on Austin: Click Here
2015 VA Games set Boccia Record
For the third consecutive year, the National Veteran Wheelchair Games included Boccia as a full medal sport. The NVWGs took place in Dallas, Texas, June 21-26. The Boccia competition was held on Monday, June 22, the first full day of competition and sent a new record for number of competitors with 76. Competition is held in for classes; IA, IB, IC and a ramp class. Each class competes within 4 ages categories.
For a complete copy of the results visit the NVWG website at:
USA Boccia would like to extend a special thanks to NVWG staff Dave Tostenrude and Tom Brown for their continued support of this growing sport. Thanks also to Ernie of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and Mike Welch and his staff at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for their support of the fasting growing Paralympic sport in the U.S.
See you next year at the 2016 NVWG’s which are schedule for June 27-July 2 in Salt Lake City.