Inflatable court boosts Bocce games
An inflatable bocce court produced by a NZ company will ‘revolutionise the global sport of bocce’.
Chair of the Special Olympics Bocce sports resource team Mike Ryan says inflatable ‘Packabocce’ courts have been “a revelation” for the sport since their initial production.
As Special Olympics New Zealand Manager of Sports Operations, he had seen bocce, a participation-based sport similar to pétanque and lawn bowls, prosper since their introduction.
As the courts are 18.2m long and 3.6m wide, and were previously composed of wood or Plexiglas, their storage and transport posed significant issues for the uptake of the traditional Italian sport in countries without established facilities.
So the prospect of portable, inflatable courts that can be set up relatively quickly anywhere there is a flat area, taken down and stored was very exciting.
Ryan says,“Bocce is an important sport for disabled and Special Olympics athletes because participation is not dictated by build or physical capability. It is a great platform for athletes with a disability to participate on the world stage, and this change will allow more programmes around the world to start considering bocce as part of what they offer.”
Ryan says the inflatable courts have produced great results for Special Olympics New Zealand, with the required storage space reduced from a shipping container to a large trailer.
Opportunities for use of the courts at the Special Olympics World Summer Games were also being explored after successful trials at the 2013 Special Olympics New Zealand Summer Games in Dunedin and the Special Olympics 2013 Asia-Pacific Games held in Australia.
Packaworld Chief Executive Peter Roberts says he had initiated the production of inflatable Bocce courts as a solution that would help people bring the game of bocce to a wider range of sportspeople and communities around the world.
Along with Packabocce courts, Packaworld produces a range of packable, portable products and sports goals,