Fermanagh boccia coach receives Disability Sport NI’s Club Person of the Year award

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A sports coach and FERMANAGH volunteer says he is “surprised” and “humbled” to have been awarded a Northern Ireland-wide award for his work in disabled sport.

Joe Graham of Irvinestown was recently awarded the Disability Sport NI “Club Person of the Year” award for the sport of boccia by Disability Sport NI Honorary President Angela Hendra MBE at the recent AGM. association.

The NI Disability Sport “Club Person of the Year” award recognizes someone who has volunteered their time and worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and sustainability of their club, offering people with physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in boccia.

Upon receiving the award, Joe said, “I am very surprised and humbled to receive this award. This award is not given to one person, it is a team honor.

“The Fermanagh Lakers Boccia Club is the one that inspires me and the others, and it is my privilege to coach and help them.

“I’ve been running out of training and playing time since Covid arrived, but the club can’t wait to come back.

“I thank the club for its nomination, it is a pleasure to receive such an award.”

Joe has been the driving force behind the development of the Fermanagh Lakers Boccia Club since its inception in 2015. He coaches weekly at the club and oversees fortnightly team development sessions to support players competing in individual and pair leagues. Disability Sport NI.

A spokesperson for Disability Sport NI said: “Joe takes every opportunity to promote boccia in the Fermanagh area and can often showcase the sport at his local school in hopes of attracting new players.”

He has also worked behind the scenes to get the club through Clubmark and, if successful, this will be the first Northern Ireland boccia club to win the award.

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