A sportsman who began playing his chosen sport only a year ago has won a gold medal at his first ever competitive tournament.
Colin Gibbons was determined to do well at boccia, a sport for the disabled and saw all his hard work and determination rewarded on Sunday.
Colin, 27, from Masterton Road, Stamford, was playing for the Camboccia Cannons in a six-team event at West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield.
It was the first tournament of a newly-formed super league of the top six boccia teams in the country, based on last year’s rankings. There will be three tournaments a year, played by teams of three.
Sunday’s event saw the Camboccia Cannons play two other teams in the group stages and the Southern All Stars in the final. Playing with Colin were England players Evie Edwards and Josh Wilkins and also Phil Tatt.
Colin has a mitochondrial condition which means he has been confined to a wheelchair since he was 14. He first saw boccia at last summer’s Paralympic Games in London and was overwhelmed by the realisation that he would be able to play it. Since then he has been practising up to four times a week in the ballroom at Stamford Arts Centre and also at the Cambridge-based Camboccia club.
He said he was surpised but delighted to have won his first major game.
”My only goal for my first tournament was not to disgrace myself! I still have to keep looking at the medal to remind myself it happened. I have to sincerely thank the two England internationals who I played with. We were most definitely a team and complemented each other well,” he said.
The medals were presented by Steve Furber, head referee for Boccia England.