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‘Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.’
Since 2005, Boccia players from Lochgilphead Resource Centre have been repeating this oath at the GB Special Olympics every four years.
They have successfully represented the Scotland West team, bringing back team and individual gold, silver and bronze medals.
Campbell Ferguson, Flora Currie and Iain Macdougall, together with head coach John Gillies and coach Mary Gillies, will be travelling to Sheffield on Monday August 6 with almost 300 Scotland West athletes and more than 600 parents and carers to support them in their events.
Ahead of them lie four days of intense competition as well as days when they can meet up with the many friends they have made over the years at previous Olympics.
In the photograph is another Special Olympics competitor, Sandy McKellar centre front, who has now retired from competition but has always come back with gold medals. He still plays every Thursday with the team and other members of the boccia club.
All this would not have been possible without the help of so many people and organisations throughout Mid Argyll.
The athletes and coaches would like to thank everyone who supported their fundraising efforts over the last two years to help cover the costs of athletes’ kits, transport, accommodation and meals in Sheffield as well as additional costs of travel and accommodation for attendance at training events and qualifying rounds for the GB Olympics.
Mary Gillies said: ‘Thank you to all at Lochgilphead Resource Centre, Tesco, Dalriada Ceilidh Band, Furnace Bowling Club, the round table and Kate McGlynn holiday home.
‘So many people from all of these groups have worked so hard for us to make this a reality. Thank you also to everyone who came along and supported all the events organised for us.’
She added: ‘The team members hope to be the best ambassadors for Mid Argyll in living up to their athlete’s oath. Medals will be nice, but we will do our best for all of you.’
For the first time the event will have a wide TV coverage, so look out for some familiar faces at the Sheffield event.
What is boccia?
Boccia is a precision ball sport related to bowls and pétanque. The name ‘boccia’ is derived from the Latin word for ‘boss’ – bottia. The sport is contested at local, national and international levels by athletes with severe physical disabilities.
The Special Olympics team with three members of the boccia club which meets every week in the Lochgilphead Resource centre. no_a31boccia01