SMILE Through Sport to Hold England’s Biggest Ever Boccia Open Competition in Gateshead on 29th September


North East based organisation SMILE Through Sport, founded by Paralympian Stephen Miller MBE, is hosting the biggest ever Boccia open competition to take place in England.

Boccia is a Paralympic sport full of tactics and skill, played in a sports hall with soft leather balls. It is a sport primarily for more severely impaired disability groups but can be played by people of any ability or impairment.

Over 100 players will take part in the fifth SMILE Boccia Open and the first that is for pairs, having previously been for individuals only. The event is taking place on Sunday the 29th of September from 10am until 5pm at Gateshead Leisure Centre.


Irwin Mitchell are sponsoring the open which is drawing participants from all areas of the North East, as well as from Sheffield, Scotland, Scarborough and Leeds. All disability groups are being catered for and players ranging from beginner to international level, aged from 8 to 56 years old are taking part – it is a truly open and inclusive competition.

To make an event of this size possible, a fantastic team of 30 SMILE volunteers are giving up their time to help on the day in various roles. The SMILE Boccia Open is a friendly competition aimed at providing a high quality and enjoyable environment to take part for people of all ages and abilities.

SMILE Through Sport’s mission is to provide and encourage high quality disability sports opportunities while inspiring individuals to participate, ultimately improving the perception and culture surrounding disability sport – the SMILE Boccia Open is a key part of achieving this mission. The success and growth of the event since its inception in 2014 has been incredible and gives great encouragement for the future.


SMILE Through Sport Founder, Stephen Miller said “I’m looking forward to the 5th SMILE Boccia Open which is generously sponsored by Irwin Mitchell. I will be taking part as I have done in all the previous opens, I’m a competitive person so of course I’ll be trying my best to win with my playing partner, however enjoying the event and having fun is the main objective. Boccia is a great sport to play and to watch and is inclusive to everyone. We are very excited by the record number of entries we’ve had this year and hope everyone has an enjoyable experience.”


More Information

If you would like more information or would like to come along on the day please contact Rachel Miller on 07812083615 or