With the Paralympics just around the corner, we spoke to two members of Team GB going for gold in Rio.
Scott and Jamie McCowan are brothers who’ve both been selected to represent the UK at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. They’ll be competing for gold in the Boccia championship, which starts on the 7th of September.
The brothers play in the BC3 Boccia classification, and use an assistive ramp to propel each ball onto the court. A ramp is an essential piece of kit for players who are unable to throw the ball.
We design and make a range of boccia ramps for all abilities, from beginner to elite athlete, and we’re proud that our ramps have helped hundreds of disabled people access this inclusive sport. Boccia ramps designed and made in our UK workshops are used by players on every continent except Antarctica!
We spoke to Scott and Jamie about their hopes for Rio.
“We know we’re good enough to beat all the teams. It’s just about doing it on the day.”
Scott: “It’ll obviously be different from London, being a home games is such a special experience. One big difference will be the change in the crowd support, in London almost everybody was supporting team GB whereas this time it’ll be mostly brazilian supporters you would think. It’s a different continent, a different part of the world, a different culture, but at the same time it’s still a Paralympic games.”
Jamie: “The way we’ve played recently we know we can achieve what we want, that’s the most important thing. I think if you have that confidence and belief in what you’re doing for every single game then you can win. It’s exciting that we’re at that stage and putting the finishing touches on. We just want to get out there and perform to the best of our ability now.”
Scott: “Our biggest rivals are going to be Korea. They’re the world number one pair. They are the only team we haven’t beaten in competition yet, every other team we have beaten at some point.”
“We know that’s probably going to be the greatest test, but the way we’ve been training this year we know we’re good enough to beat all the teams. It’s just about doing it on the day.”
We asked what advice the brothers would give to someone wanting to get involved with Boccia.
Jamie: “People starting the game don’t know where to go and where to get the best ramps, so it’s great for organisations like yourselves to provide them, it’s crucial.”
Scott: “If you don’t have an effective ramp you’re just not going to be able to compete with some of the top guys.”
Scott and Jamie will be competing as a pair and in the individual competition. The brothers say their rivalry helps “keep the competitive juices flowing”
Scott: “I think obviously [Jamie]’s important to me for the pairs event, but once it gets into the singles…”
Jamie: “It’s every man for himself!”
Scott: “We’ve done all the training that we need to do, were definitely ready to go out and do it so it’s just about staying ready at this point.”
See Scott and Jamie’s full interview.
We wish Jamie, Scott and the whole of the GB squad the best of luck going for gold at Rio. We’ll be sharing the results on our inclusive sports blog Boccia News as soon as they come in.
“People starting the game don’t know where to go and where to get the best ramps.”
If you’re looking to get involved with Boccia as a beginner, or to improve your skills like Scott and Jamie, assistive ramps for any ability along with Boccia accessories designed and made by our team in the UK are available in our online shop.