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International competitive and training opportunities.

International competitive and training opportunities.

written by Boccia

Its been some time since I last updated my blog, so I have lots of news to share....

 

Firstly, I recently made the decision to leave the England Squad and become an independant athlete. One of my main reasons for this was the lack of competitive opportunities I was being offered. After a lot of advice and careful consideration I feel this is defintately the right decision for me and my progress.

I am currently sourcing International competitions and I am soon about to kick start my new fundraising campaign to help enable me to compete as much as possible.

I have a number of fundraising ideas which I will share with you all once they're finalised. I have also set up a just giving page which can be found at....www.justgiving.com/harry-thompson5/  

I aim to have an article in the Newcastle Journal within the next two weeks, so watch this space.

 

My first International competition this year, which I'm really looking forward to, will be The Tatra Cup in Liptovsky Jan, Slovakia in June.

I am also very excited to be planning a trip to Florida, USA, early next year. I have been given an amazing opportunity to train with the World number 1 BC4, Marco Dispaltro. I still cant quite believe it !!!

 

Last weekend I competed in Sheffield at the Boccia England Open ( formerly DSE National championship ), winning the BC4 competition for the 4th time and where I also unveiled my new competition tops.

I was pleased with my performance, winning 4 out of 4 matches and it was a good warm up for the English Nationals at the end of April where I will be defending my National title.

I will be working hard in the Kirknewton Hall over the next few weeks in preperation.

 

Thank you all for your continuing support.

Harry.

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Polska Boccia 2014

Polska Boccia 2014

written by Boccia

On the 8th October I flew out to Poznan, Poland from Stansted with my Mum, Michelle and my Coach Barry Bowden for the Polska Boccia 2014 International Boccia Event.

Despite finding there was no ambulift at Poznan Airport when we landed, the flight was good and both my chairs survived, which is always good. I can highly recommend Ryanair, I would definitely fly with them again.

We joined the rest of the England squad at the hotel.

The next morning was spent in Poznan's Old Square with the squad, it was very picturesque and relaxed. After lunch we made our way to the venue for training. The venue, The University of Life Sciences, Poznan, was a short drive from the hotel. 

At the venue I had some individual training with Barry in preparation for the Individual competition the following day.

The next morning saw me play 3 back to back matches in my pool. I had 2 good wins, 9 0 Marek Bogakzyk (Poland) and 6 1 Jakob Skantelj ( Slovenia) but a mistake in the last end against Croatia's Melisa Osmanovic led me to my first defeat. I got out of my pool but lost to Vasile Agache (Spain) in the semi final. I played Melisa once again in the Bronze medal match and won my first International medal (Bronze).

I was disappointed to have lost the semi final match, but unfortunately everything I did, my opponent undid !! I was,  however, very pleased to have reached medal position . All my hard work is paying off and it showed me that I am making good progress.

After an early night and another early morning the following day, the pairs competition began. After some training with my England Pairs partner Josh Wilkins and my coach Barry, we were relaxed and confident ready for the competition. I took on my usual role of England BC4 Captain and we went on court. Our first match was against Poland, from who we gained our first victory, England 5 1 Poland, we followed that with 2 more wins, England 5 2 Croatia and England 7 2 Spain. Josh and I played well together and our results reflected that. An International Pairs Gold for England's BC4's :)

After a meal and an awards ceremony at the venue, I had a relaxed night back at the hotel with the rest of the squad, before preparing to fly home the next day.

I had an amazing time out in Poland, the competition was good, I won 2 medals and the squad pulled toegther and supported each other so much and had their best International competition, coming home with 5 medals in total.

I took a few days off after returning home but soon got back into training at Kirknewton Hall.

I cannot thank the local community enough for the support they gave me before and after the competition, I could'nt of done it without you, you're all amazing !! Thank you.

 

 

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Fundraising, Awards and Poznan preparations.

Fundraising, Awards and Poznan preparations.

written by Boccia

I have been training very hard preparing for Poland since the coffee morning, which was a great success raising £261.00. Thank you very much to everyone who attended, helped, baked cakes, took the time to come along and support me and donated to my "Poznan fund". To those of you who have donated since, via justgiving, leaving donations at the hall, etc, Thank you, its very much appreciated. Without your help my trip to Poland to compete would have been very difficult to achieve. The support I have received has been amazing.

The coffee morning is hopefully going to be an annual event at the hall, and I'm also thinking of a few other ideas for other events throughout the year. I will keep you all posted.

The weekend after the coffee morning I had 2 days of training in the hall with my personal coach, this went very well. I try to have at least 1 weekend of training with him in a month. He helps me a lot, his coaching is invaluable to me, and without his input I wouldn't be progressing as well as I am.

I've also been to an England training camp in Nottingham where I scored a personal best on my skills test at a camp. It was a very successful camp for me. I won all matches I played in the camp competition which is to continue throughout the season. I'm also very pleased to say that my personal coach Barry Bowden was recently appointed as England Squad Head coach. Congratulations to him !

My training in the hall continues 3-4 times a week and I have also been to my club training in Edinburgh too.

I was recently nominated for the 'Best of Northumberland' sporting achievement award (formerly Pride of Northumberland awards). On the 18th of September I attended a reception at the Alnwick Garden with my Mum, where I won the award. I had a really good night, met some inspirational people and came home with another trophy for my cabinet.

I've decided over the last few days to try and add a few more different balls to my competition set. Once I return from Poland and I've found a price I will be looking to buy some of these new balls which should help further my game. Boccia balls are expensive especially if they're being bought from another Country, so I may look towards organising another fundraising event. If anyone has any fundraising ideas, or would be interested in being involved or helping out, please let me know.

I will be continuing with my preparations for Poznan until the 7th of October when I travel to Stanstead to fly out to Poland the following day. My Mum will try to keep you updated during the competition, via the Kirknewton Northumberland facebook page and I will be updating my blog on my return.

Thank you all for your ongoing support, it means a lot.

 

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Competitions, Training and Selection for the Poznan International

Competitions, Training and Selection for the Poznan International

written by Boccia

I have had quite a quiet year competition wise, which has given me time for plenty of training and some technical changes.

I played 2 regional competitions in Liverpool and Newcastle, winning both and qualifying for the English National Championship. In january I was thrilled to be selected for an International competition in Montreal, Canada, but unfortunately I didn't get to go because of an entry problem. I won the National BC4 DSE title in sheffield for the 3rd time, which was a good  warm up for the English Nationals in Worcester 2 weeks later at the end of march, where i won the National title for the 2nd time. It was a good competition that qualified me for the British Championships for the 4th time in my career. I was particularly pleased with my 8-1 victory in the final. Its good to have the National trophy back in my cabinet aand be top BC4 in England once again!!

I competed at the British Championships in Wigan against the top BC4's in Great Britain and despite having a tough group I finished 5th overall. I was disappointed not to have made the semi finals but I was pleased I improved my final position from the year before. Next year I plan to make more of an impact and hopefully reach semi finals.

Next was the Cheshire international where I played for England and I captained the BC4 pairs team once again. It was here that I played the game of my career so far, beating the Slovak Republic pairs. This was definitely one of the highlights of my year.

I quickly got back into full time training after these 2 competitions and bought myself some New Zealand Mamaku balls. I introduced 5 to my existing set of Boccas balls and I love them. I've worked very hard with these new balls. Which caused me some problems to begin with but they're working very well for me now.

I have attended England Squad training camp weekends mainly in Nottingham but one in Stoke-on-Trent.

I also have a personal coach who I pay to travel from the South of England once a month to coach me in the hall at Kirknewton. I train 4 to 5 days a week at Kirknewton, occasionally at Willowburn, Alnwick and usally cover 12 to 14 hours on my own in an average week. I also attend the East of Scotland Boccia club in Edinburgh once a week.

I have recently been selected to compete in Poland at the Poznan International in October. I am really excited about this selection and it will be the first time I have visited the Country. I am training very hard and trying to fund raise at the same time to help me travel and stay there to compete for my Country. We will be driving to Stansted and staying there before flying directly to Poznan for the competition.

You can donate to my Poznan fund at : www.justgiving.com/harry-thompson2/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=harry-thompson2&utm_campaign=pfp-share 

I will keep you up to date with my training progress and competition results.

Harry.

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