Boccia team earns praise after NSW championship effort

TALENTED: Liam Hourigan (left), Jayden Watson and Anthony Pitt reflecting on their committed boccia efforts.
TALENTED: Liam Hourigan (left), Jayden Watson and Anthony Pitt reflecting on their committed boccia efforts.

THREE hard-working members of Southern Cross K-12 School Ballina Support Unit's boccia team have earned resounding praise after rubbing shoulders with statewide contestants.

The team, consisting of special needs students Anthony Pitt, Jayden Watson and Liam Hourigan recently appeared at the New South Wales championship tournament at Sydney's Olympic Park complex.

A strong effort saw the team win two of its four matches at the competition to finishing 11th overall.

Support teacher Rod Farrelly who accompanied the boys, said that he was delighted with their committed efforts.

"They played so well and tried so hard," he said.

"The boys gave it everything; they were focused. At the end of competition, they finished 11th, but that placing is 11th in the State.

"I would have loved them to have tasted victory.

"We're so proud of their efforts."

The sport, which is similar to bowls, sees players try to get their bowls as close to the jack as possible.

Balls can be moved with hands, feet or with a ramp, depending on the players' mobility.

Year nine student Anthony, Jayden (year 11) and Liam, of year 10, earned their berth at the competition after winning an earlier qualifier.

The trio defeated teams from Port Macquarie (5-1) and Dubbo (3-2) at the event.

A narrow 3-2 loss to Heathcote meant the side just missed out on aiming for a place in the tournament's latter stages.

Sixteen teams from across the state took part in the competition.

The region is getting a reputation for producing talented boccia players.

Tait Jenkins, of Trinity Catholic College Lismore, has been earmarked as a possible player at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

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