Brett Dakin off to Boccia worlds
Cerebral Palsy sufferer aims to enjoy first competition on international soil
Multiple time provincial champion Brett Dakin will have a dream realised when he pulls on the green and gold of South Africa at the Dubai Boccia World Open starting Friday.
The 21-year-old Dakin, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, has been playing the sport for over eight years and has been a provincial player for the same amount of time, winning a number of individual and team accolades along the way.
Despite his numerous medals, Dakin said being selected to represent South Africa for the first time is a “dream come true”.
“Being selected for the team is one of the greatest honours for me. It was always a dream of mine to compete in the sport on an international level and I cannot wait for the competition to begin,” he said.
He says he now also has ambitions of making the SA team 2020 Summer Paralympics in Japan.
Boccia is played on a large indoor court with leather bound balls, which are easier to grip than conventional balls such as bowls.
Much like lawn bowls, the aim of the game is to get your balls closest to the jack. Players contest four ends per game with six balls thrown in each end.
Dakin said he has been training hard in the last few months working on his array of shots, ironing out tactics and strategies for games and watching Youtube videos to learn about how the best players go about their game.
“For now though, I just want to enjoy the experience learning as much as I can and continue to build my reputation in the sport I love so much,” he addedBrett Dakin, Multiple SA Boccia champion
“With this being my first competition on an international level, I have not set my expectations too high, obviously to bring home a medal would be great. In future, I’d like to become a world champion in the sport.
“For now though, I just want to enjoy the experience learning as much as I can and continue to build my reputation in the sport I love so much,” he added.
Currently ranked top of the pile in the country in the BC2 category, Dakin hopes to gain an international ranking which would make him eligible for selection to compete at international tournaments.
He also has a love for chess, representing the province at various competitions while keeping the family name high.
Having matriculated from Cape Recife High School in 2016, Dakin said he was interested in the field of information technology and hopes to start a career in that field in future.
Dakin has an identical twin brother, Ross, who has the same condition and plays the sport as well. Ross competes in the BC3 category due to limited use of his hands.
“I have received so much support from my family. They believe that I can do anything. In order to achieve something, you have to believe in yourself, be positive about life and know that nothing is impossible.
“They are always encouraging me to do what I enjoy and what makes me happy, this sport evokes that feeling for me,” he said.
As the only South African player to attend the Open, Dakin will only compete in the singles events as a minimum of three players are needed to make up a team.