Paralympian Evie Edwards on how boccia changed her life and how it can do the same for you

  • ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward reports on the taster sessions

A two-time Paralympian has urged people with disabilities to give the sport of boccia a go after a series of taster sessions were launched.

Evie Edwards, who competed at the Paralympic Games in Rio and Tokyo in 2016 and 2021, was on hand to give tips and advice to potential players during the first session at the Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket, Suffolk.

The session was the first of 10 set to take place over the coming weeks after local partners ActivLives and Everyone Active secured a grant from Active Suffolk and Sport England.

Boccia is very similar to bowls and is one of only two Paralympic sports that doesn't have an Olympic equivalent - the other being goalball.

The sport can be played by anyone, with ramps allowed for certain players.

  • How do you play boccia?

The aim to get your balls as close as possible to the white jack ball. Credit: ITV News Anglia

In essence, the aim of the game is to get your ball as close as possible to a white target ball, or jack as it's known.

One player will throw the jack ball and will then throw the first of their red or blue balls.

The other player will then throw the first of their balls, which will be the other colour.

When each player has thrown six balls, the referee will decide which colour ball is closest to the jack and will then award one additional point for each ball that is closer to the jack than the opponent's closest ball.

So, if you have two balls that are closer to the jack than your opponent, you will win the end 2-0.

Whoever has the highest score after six ends wins the contest.

"I've never met a single person who can't play boccia," Evie told ITV News Anglia.

"Every single person, no matter what their physical ability is, no matter what their learning ability, and no matter what their visual or hearing impairment is, every single person who I've met, I've been able to get them included in boccia in some way."

Evie, who was born with a rare condition called thrombocytopenia-absent radius (TAR) syndrome, has now retired from the sport but is determined to pass on her knowledge to other people.

Some players are allowed to use a ramp to assist them. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Boccia has changed my life," said Evie.

"Not only did it take me to two Paralympics, but it's helped me learn that I can be physically active. Because of boccia I stepped foot in the gym and I've learnt that there's things that you can do that you maybe didn't think that you could."

Future sessions at the Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre will cost £2.50 and will be held every Thursday, up until March 23, from 1.30-3pm.

Anyone who is interested in taking part can call the ActivLives Office on 01473 345350 or email

It was one of the biggest news stories of our time - and it's still not over. So what did Boris Johnson know about Downing Street’s notorious parties? With fresh revelations from our Number 10 sources, in their own words, listen to the inside story...