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St. John’s trio on national boccia training squad

Boccia was originally intended as a sport for people suffering from cerebral palsy, but today is open to all athletes using a wheelchair. — Associated Press file photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth
Boccia was originally intended as a sport for people suffering from cerebral palsy, but today is open to all athletes using a wheelchair. — Associated Press file photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Three Newfoundland athletes have been named to Canada’s 2019 national boccia training squad.

The squad will produce players for selection to Canadian teams for various international boccia events.

Kristyn Collins, Mike Mercer and Haley Redmond, all of St. John’s, become eligible to compete in five 2019 events, the American World Open (at Montreal in April), the Asian World Open (at Hong Kong in May), the Parapan American Games (at Lima, Peru in August), the America  Regional Championships (at Sao Paulo, Brazil in September) and the European World Open (at Povoa, Portugal in October).

Boccia is a Paralympic sport similar to lawn bowling or curling, played by athletes with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and related disabilities. It is one of only two Paralympic sports that do not have an Olympic counterpart.

Athletes compete in one of four sport classes based on their level and type of disability: BC1, BC2, BC3 and BC4. All three Newfoundlanders are in the BC2 class.

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