Ontario Puts on a Show in Mississauga at 2024 Boccia Blast National Open

Canadian Paralympic Committee

June 17, 2024

An all-Ontario trio took the podium in the BC3 class at the annual tournament.

Athletes at the 2024 Boccia Blast event.

Ontario athletes had a huge showing and dominated the podium on home turf at the 2024 Boccia Blast National Open in Mississauga, ON. In class BC1 Lance Cryderman (Val Caron, ON), BC2 Jim Davis (Niagara Falls, ON), BC3 Josh Gautier (Niagara Falls, ON) and BC4/Open Gio De Sero (Guelph, ON) all were crowned Champions. Encouragement for the future of the sport was palpable at the 2024 Boccia Blast that wrapped up yesterday.
Cryderman was overjoyed to take another gold medal to his name as the current number one nationally ranked player in BC1 class: “I always love playing at Boccia Blast and with my Ontario competitors mostly. I love seeing up-and-coming talent or returning talent at this tournament. As the sole member of the National Boccia Team, I feel extremely humbled and proud to represent both Ontario and Canada on my chest. Ontario’s boccia history is quite extensive… Tammy McLeod and Adam Dukovich were strong competitors for the National Team in their time and they were also part of the host organizing committee at this Boccia Blast tournament for many years.” After Cryderman on the podium, was Liza Puri (London, ON), and Chris Halpen (Victoria, BC) for bronze.
Davis was crowned Champion in the BC2 class. “Probably the best [competition] in my boccia career. I’m especially proud of my games against Dominic and Nathan, because they are fierce competitors and they’ve beaten me in the past.” Nathan Bragg (Vancouver, BC) took silver while Dominic Gomez (Whitby, ON) bronze.
The only undefeated athlete at this tournament, Josh Gautier (Niagara Falls, ON) in class BC3, was extremely proud and explained, “I felt that I had good focus during my game, I was mentally prepared, I played to my strengths, and kept a positive attitude.” Gautier played Carter Plumb (Brampton, ON) in the finals where Gautier got off to a quick start with two points scored in the first end, after depleting Plumb’s balls with a perfect first ball. Plumb played a more defensive game but was successful at blocking Gautier’s openings at promising angles. Plumb played long in the last end to score two points, but it wasn’t enough as Gautier claimed a 6-2 win to capture gold.
A new athlete to come through the system taking home bronze in BC3 was Everett Nichol (Simcoe County, ON) who won a medal for the first time ever at a national tournament. Elated with his performance he said, “I’m very happy and want to thank Tiffany for introducing me to the sport. I’m very proud of my performance on the court and mental preparation as well. I love the people here too. We are a family and training with the other athletes nearby is improving my game.”
In BC4/Open class, Gio De Sero (Guelph, ON) took gold, (London, ON) silver, and Gordon Letke (Oshawa, ON) bronze. De Sero was enthusiastic about the junior competition that also took place at this tournament for the past three days as well. Three athletes competed in a division designed for youth at Boccia Blast: “As always, it was an honour to represent the flag atop the podium. It’s great to see all the new, young players coming through the system for Ontario too!”
Ontario was coming off a series of recent provincial qualification tournaments, the Ontario Regional Boccia Series, prior to Boccia Blast. A record number of athletes from Ontario qualified for the Ontario Provincials that takes place this August. Two years ago, 45 athletes qualified, last year 60, and this year a total of 74 athletes, which is a record number for Ontario.
As coach, Tiffany Gaudette puts it, “the Ontario Cerebral Palsy Sports Association and the Ontario Boccia Squad have put a lot of effort into education, recruitment, and coach development. We are a cohesive and strong management team with the same vision to help Ontario athletes be their best. I can’t wait to see how the program continues to develop over the next few years.”
With a total of ten medals to their name, Ontario is excited for the future and so is National Team Coach, Ed Richardson: “There were a lot of upsets and unpredictable games. This wave of new athletes keeps the future of boccia looking bright for the Canadian Program.”
Find the full results here and rewatch the webcast here. The closing ceremonies can be watched here as well.

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