Chloe George's Boccia adventure
Chloe George lives in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, and is a member of Scarboccia, an inclusive boccia club based in Scarborough.
An incredibly multi-talented and ambitious woman, Chloe grabs life with both hands and has competed at Boccia England competitions and also won medals at Special Olympics competitions.
Chloe is autistic, has dyspraxia and global developmental delay among other complications but she has never let that stop her from enjoying sport.
But as you’ll discover, there is far more to her than meets the eye.
Here is Chloe’s inspirational story so far in her own words.
I’ve been playing Boccia since the age of 11. When I lived in Ely I took part in a holiday club called Playscheme and a club called Camboccia came in one day.
I had a go at it and immediately liked it. I took a leaflet, started going and I was hooked.
I then started doing boccia competitions and I realised that the sport was for me - I enjoyed it and found it easy and fun.
When I left Cambridgeshire and moved up to Bridlington when I was 17, I wanted to go to a new boccia club and Scarboccia was recommended to me - the rest is history.
I love boccia because it’s easy to understand, it’s relaxing, I like that it’s very sensory rolling the balls in your hands to warm them up.
I know it’s very competitive but it’s competitive in a nice way, everybody is so encouraging and makes you stronger. It’s a nice atmosphere and I’ve always felt safe and comfortable doing it.
It’s nice to meet other people with the same disability but also you get to understand other needs and disabilities. It’s such an inclusive sport.
It’s a safe and healthy way of making new friends and I’ve also won a lot of medals and trophies, including with the Special Olympics, which I love.
Away from boccia, I also ski and in normal times once a month on a Sunday I’d go with my stepfather indoor skiing in Castleford as part of a disability scheme group.
I also do boxercise at Curtis Woodhouse Elite Boxing Academy in Driffield and I’m part of Autism Angels in Harrogate. I absolutely love horses and ponies, riding them and taking them out for walks.
I also do beauty pageants as well and that helps me with my confidence.
I travel to do them all across the country and everybody is nice to each other there, the other girls treat me the same.
I wear heels and it helps with my balance. I win crowns and medals and I just love getting done up and feeling like a princess. It’s very inclusive, like boccia.
When I enter the pageants, as a pageant beauty queen I am expected to do a little bit of charity work.
It’s a lot but I just squeeze everything in and make the time and just keep going. It’s all you can do in life.
Everything I do helps me in so many different ways and I’ll carry on doing it all for as long as I can. They’ve allowed me to try new things and things that I never thought I could do before.
It is scary going up that big mountain but it gives you that amazing feeling. It’s great for your health, physical and mental.
I believe now that I am worthwhile and that I can do things. It’s changed my life a lot, it’s given me a lot of confidence and given me a lot of belief.
Sometimes I’ll be down but I’ll remind myself that I’ve won all these medals for myself, nobody else has won all these medals, only me.
In the future I am also going to try and set up my own little boccia group in Bridlington on Sunday afternoons.
I want to give other people a chance of competing, going to competitions and all the rest.