Our Hamilton-Halton chapter has made the game of boccia more accessible for youngsters with high-level disabilities.
The president of Brock Niagara Penguins swim and gym team for youth with disabilities approached Tetra saying many of the youngsters played boccia by knocking the ball down a ramp with their foot.
It was the first project from Tetra volunteer Harold Anderson, an electrical specialist, who worked alongside longstanding volunteer Jim Rennie. They sliced a six-inch diameter plastic drainpipe in half lengthways to create a channel, across which they placed four electrically-operated gates; it became a free-standing bowling chute by the addition of a stand.
“The electronic gates are similar to those at a horse race” explained chapter coordinator Sylvia Baliko. The children playing choose which gate to use – the boccia ball obviously travels faster and further depending on which gate they use. She added: “They push a lever and the gates raise and the ball is released. The entire ramp is not heavy, so they can aim it themselves.”
Sylvia said the group immediately asked for two more “so that all the kids can play together – with dignity.”