Day one of the 2015 Canadian Boccia Championships did not disappoint with the official opening ceremonies and a visit from Toronto 2015’s mascot Pachi, along with team and pair play as well as open competition.
Opening remarks were coloured with words from Boccia Canada Council’s Gary Vander Vies, Executive Director of CCPSA Marie Dannhaeuser, Sport Manager Randy Anderson from TO2015 and Gabriel Shiu of the Abilities Centre, among others. The ceremony was followed by a visit from the official mascot of the Pan American and Parapan American Games, Pachi the porcupine along with close to thirty children from the Grandview Rehabilitation Centre who came to watch and experience boccia.
On the court, competition was fierce as provincial teams and pairs went face to face. The group included boccia veterans including five time Paralympian Paul Gauthier who snatched a gold medal win at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadelajara, Mexico and newcomers to the sport like Hayley Redmond of Team Newfoundland. Of the day, Hayley says “an awesome day for the team, it was certainly our closest year. We are starting to score and make shots; that makes us very excited. As a small, young group of athletes, and this being our third year at nationals, this is a huge accomplishment. Looking forward to some tight individual matches tomorrow and hoping to pull out a win.”
In open competition, Gio Desero prevailed, finishing first in a double round robin tournament. In his last round robin game he won 3-2 against Julie Merrigan, securing his gold medal. The day closed with the open division’s medal ceremony.
Saturday brings on a whole new ball game with individual play throughout the day as well as the Community of Whitby’s five month out event in preparation for the Parapan American Games.
2) British Colombia
4) Newfoundland and Labradar
- Nova Scotia
Open // Ouverte
- Gio Desero
- Gordon Letke
- Paul Rehel
- Julie Merrigan