Inniscarra Blues Special Olympics Bocce Club celebrates 10th anniversary

The Club was set up when a gap was seen by local man Pat Burton regarding a sporting requirement for special needs athletes within the Ballyanly Community Centre facility. The official launch took place on the 26th May 2006 in the Blarney Resort Hotel, then known as the Ramada Hotel. The Club caters for teenagers and young adults from 10 years of age from all areas of Cork city and county. Bocce is a form of bowling, similar to Boules as played in France, that can be played indoors or outdoors. Over the years, athletes have represented the club at all levels. In June 2011 the Special Olympics World Summer Games were held in Athens, and Lisa Maher, for Inniscarra Blues S.O. Bocce Club was part of Team Ireland that travelled to Athens, bringing home Gold and Silver medals for her country and club. In 2014, the Special Olympics European Games were held in Antwerp, and club athlete Mary O Donovan travelled as part of the Irish Team, returning home with a Silver medal for Ireland. A club is only as good as the fun it has and athletes enjoy summer BBQ’s, outings and Christmas parties. The athletes have made many new friends over the years, they have played host and travelled to Newcastle West, Middleton, Charleville, Cashel and Limerick, for friendly competitions with other Special Needs Bocce clubs. In August 2013 Inniscarra Blues Bocce Club participated in the Inniscarra Agricultural Show in Ballyanly to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Special Olympics World Summer Games which were held in Ireland in 2003, the first time these games were held outside of America. Earlier this year 14 Athletes from the club travelled to Limerick to take part in the Area competition for Bocce, where over 100 athletes from all parts of Munster participated in the competition. Inniscarra athletes came home with 7 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals and 2 ribbons. Eleven of these athletes will now travel to Limerick to represent the Club at regional level on Sunday 27th November. Training sessions take place on Tuesday evenings from 7pm until 8.15pm, from September to June in Ballyanly Community Centre Hall. New athletes and volunteer helpers are most welcome to come along any Tuesday evening to see what Bocce is all about. If you would like further information or like to get involved with the club either as an athlete or volunteer helper please contact Anne Hyland 087 7606332, Charlotte Murphy 087 9958516, Maryll McCarthy 086 3970304 or Donal Sheehan 087 6448910.Innicaraa Group Picture