2012 hopeful Dan Bentley helps Essex pupils bag a final spot

DUNMOW sports star Dan Bentley helped students taste competitive Boccia at a countywide school contest to find the first ever Essex Boccia champions.

London 2012 Boccia Paralympic hopeful and Team Essex Ambassador Daniel Bentley opened proceedings and talked about his love of the game and his experience of winning a Gold medal in the team event at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

The Essex Boccia Champions event was organised by the Essex County Councils’ Carrying the Flame team as part of the Essex 2012 Inclusive Activities programme.

After an exciting final, Davenant Foundation School were crowned champions and alongside runners-up Southview School, progress to the Lord’s Taverners East Region event in Hertfordshire on February 15.

After being inspired by Bentley both school teams have their sights firmly set on a place at the Lord’s Taverners Junior National Boccia Championships which take place in Nottingham on March 24.

Cllr Stephen Castle, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and the 2012 Games said: “I’d like to congratulate all of the teams that took part in the first Essex Boccia Champions competition.

“I am delighted to see young people playing Boccia which clearly demonstrates that sport can be inclusive for all. I wish the very best of luck to both Davenant and Southview schools for the East Regional event.”

Most Read

- Introduced to the Paralympic Games in New York in 1984, Boccia is a sport similar to bowls, designed to test of muscle control and accuracy and demands extreme skill and concentration.

- Carrying the Flame is an educational framework set up by Essex County Council to inspire a new generation of children and young people about the Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more information on the programme, visit essexlegacy.org

To find out more about Daniel Bentley and the Team Essex Ambassador’s scheme visit essexlegacy.org/teamessexambassadors.