In this feature we take a look at some standout participants that we have come across during our Start 2 SMILE project. The first of these participants is Thomas Ferry.
Thomas and twin brother Jack were born 16 weeks early, weighing just 3lb between them, back in 2001. Now 16, Thomas from Sunderland took up the sport of Boccia. For those who don’t know Boccia is a sport designed for athletes with severe impairments and is a target based sport played indoors with soft leather balls. Thomas only took up the sport in 2015 and regularly attends the Vipers Boccia Academy in Newcastle as part of his training. In January last year Thomas attended our Multi-Sport sessions in Sunderland as part of our Start 2 Smile project with our coach Gareth. During these session Thomas took part in a variety of different sports such as, Cricket, Tennis, Basketball, Athletics and Seated Volleyball as well as a number of Boccia drills to help him improve his skills.
Road to Nationals
Thomas competed in the Heathcoat Cup Newcastle tournament, held at Gateshead Leisure Centre, in March 2017. This was his very first tournament where he competed against other BC2s from the region. He won 3 games and lost one meaning he finished the tournament with a Gold medal.
Winning this tournament meant that he qualified for the National Heathcoat Cup Finals in April, at the University of Hertfordshire Sports Village, a national competition where he would compete against other BC2s from across the country. Thomas surprised us all again winning gold again in his second ever competition beating some of the best BC2s in the country along the way.
This latest win meant that Thomas qualified for Boccia England (BE) Cup Finals at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield in May. Thomas was placed in a tough pool with some of the best players in the country such as Reshad Saraj and Zoe Robinson. Although he didn’t win any of his matches, he performed extremely well and gave every player a run for their money and he should be extremely proud of his efforts.
Well Done Thomas
All of us at SMILE Through Sport are extremely proud of Thomas. To get to a National Final in three short months with little in the way of tournament experience is an amazing achievement and he should be extremely proud of his achievements.