For the first time since its inauguration in 2012, the Singapore National Games (SNG) is including boccia into its sports lineup, providing an additional avenue for para-athletes to shine.
Boccia, a competitive sport recognised by the International Paralympic Committee, is designed for people suffering from cerebral palsy and athletes with impairments that severely affect motor skills.
National para-athlete Toh Sze Ning in action. Photo: Sport Singapore
The inclusion of boccia builds on the existing level of public awareness generated by the nation’s hosting of the 8th ASEAN Para Games last year.
The competition attracted over 30 participants, including national para-athlete Toh Sze Ning.
Among the participants, 10-year-old Aloysius Gan stood out despite his tender young age as the SNG was already his fourth boccia competition. Gan was supported by his 36-year-old father Gan Keng Aik.
Aloysius Gan (left) is supported by his father, Gan Keng Aik, during the Boccia competition. Photo: Sport Singapore
The elder Gan said that “a lot of Singaporeans don’t know boccia exists” and applauded the move to include para-sports by the SNG.
“With more and more advertisements and publicity, people will get to know the game and definitely, we can get more volunteers to come and help. And with more awareness, more players will know this game exists and come and play.”
Highlighting that the SNG is a “good platform” and “good initiative” for the para-athletes to “showcase their skills”, competition manager Wylie Wee is hopeful that there would be more opportunities to develop the sport in the near future.
Due to the warm reception of the event, an optimistic Wee said: “We have new players coming on board to join us in boccia competitions and we also have supporters as well as parents of the athletes joining us on board in this event.”
Catch your fellow Singaporeans competing in over
, at the Singapore National Games 2016 from now till 7 August!