What makes boccia a good spectator sport?
It’s a tactical game, a bit like chess played on a boccia court. You work to a game-plan and it’s exciting for people to watch and pick up.
How did you get in to boccia?
I was introduced to it on a disability sports taster day where I used to work in the early 1990s – it seems like a long time ago now. In 1998 I started to compete at a local then national level, before competing at international level.
You won gold at Beijing... what was it like competing? What was the atmosphere like during the matches?
The Beijing 2008 Games were fantastic – it was my third Games and they were the best facilities I’ve ever competed in. The venue was great and the atmosphere was electric, it was full of people watching the sport.
What do you think about International Paralympic Day being held in Trafalgar Square? What do you hope visitors will get out of it?
This gives us another opportunity to showcase our sport and encourage people to come along to London 2012. We know we’re a minority sport in disability circles.
People will get to meet us there, find out more about the sport and hopefully want to support us next year.
Are you looking forward to the London 2012 Games?
We’ve just come back from our major championships in Belfast, where 33 countries competed, so the next major focus is the 2012 Games. It’s still a little way off for us in terms of who’s going to be competing but the publicity and advertising around it make it very exciting.
That it’s a home Paralympic Games has got us all very excited: it’s the first time all the standards are competing and it gives us a chance to showcase our sport in London.
Apart from Boccia, which sport would you most want to go and watch at the Paralympic Games and why?
If we get the chance, I like Athletics and also Wheelchair Basketball, which is fast-flowing and exciting.
What do you think about the fact there will be day passes for ExCeL, so people can experience more than one sport there on the same day?
That’s a real plus point: people may go to something specific but decide to come and have a look at Boccia and see the various disability sports on show.
Can you describe why boccia lets people experience ‘sport like never before’?
Boccia is quite a unique sport – it’s not very familiar, and it’s a chance to see a number of people with a range of disabilities competing.