Interview with Boccia Athlete Ali Lalani
Ali has been competing in boccia for around 6 years and in that time has won a team bronze at the 2006 world championships, team silver at the 2005 European Championships and team gold at the 2006 Belgium Open. Ali is a devout muslim and is currently studying for an HND in leisure management at Solent University in Southampton.
Ali El-Nasir Lalani and I play Boccia.
Q How did you get into Boccia?
A I got into Boccia about 5 years ago at my college. I started playing and picked it up in a few lessons and found I had a natural aptitude towards the sport, and just carried on from there really.
Q What do you enjoy most about it?
A I think most of all I enjoy the competitive side of it; the thrill of winning and coming back against all the odds, and winning those medals.
Q What does a typical day in your sport involve?
A A typical competition day: firstly it obviously involves a lot of early mornings and there is a lot of early rising out of bed which isn't always good, but has to be done! I might go down and have a bit of breakfast and then get to the venue and warm up before our matches.
Q What about a day training - it that much different?
A Training, there is a bit of variation involved it can vary from a morning session to an afternoon session, even to a late session where we go through certain skill practices, drills and even relating that into game situations.
Q How do you relax when you are not competing?
A I like to relax in various ways really. I am a devout Muslim so I like praying and meditation is very important for me as well, the mental side of things. Also I like reading and also listening to music as well.
Q What do you hope to achieve in your sport in the future?
A My main objective in the next couple of years is obviously to qualify for Beijing and then hopefully lead on to the home games in London.
Q What advice would you give someone wanting to take up Boccia?
A Try and get involved with local schools that are perhaps involved with the sport; go to your local council and ask about the sport and where the sport is being played, and just get involved and try and have fun as its a great game to be involved in.