10 athletes selected to the boccia team


London 2012 Paralympic Games bronze medalist and world No. 1 Marco Dispaltro of Montreal Photo: Daniel Marcotte / CPC

OTTAWA, May 27, 2015 – London 2012 Paralympic Games bronze medalist and world No. 1 Marco Dispaltro of Montreal headlines the 10 athletes selected to the boccia team, announced today by the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (CCPSA) for nomination to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games team.

A total of 10 boccia athletes, supported by their sport assistants, have booked their entries for Toronto 2015. They are joined by head coach Mario Delisle and his staff César Nicolai (BC4 coach), Shannon Sydorak (BC3) and Ed Richardson (BC1/2).

The full team roster is included at the end of this release.

Canada’s boccia team is keen to showcase its skills on home soil in Toronto. At the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan Am Games, the team won five medals, including gold for Paul Gauthier and Adam Dukovich and silver for Dispaltro – all of whom return on this team. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Dispaltro won bronze with recently-retired teammate Josh Vander Vies.

“The Canadian boccia team is anticipating a strong showing in Toronto,” said CCPSA executive director Marie Dannhaeuser. “The Americas region is very strong in boccia. We are ready to go head to head against some of the best in the world, and aim to repeat our podium success from previous Parapan Am Games.”

Similar to lawn bowls, boccia is a game of precision in which elite players employ an incredible degree of focus, consistency and strategy. Eligible disabilities in the sport include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or amputations. Competitors are placed in one of four classifications based on their level of mobility.

“A warm welcome to every boccia athlete selected to the team,” said Canada’s Chef de Mission, Elisabeth Walker-Young. “Whether this is your first Games or whether you are a veteran, this will be a Games like no other. Plan now on using these home Games to your advantage! I look forward to seeing you in Toronto. All the best with final preparations. Our Canadian team is now bigger and better with you on it.”

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of standout boccia performances last month at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montréal, Que. at the 2015 Americas Pairs/Team competition, where Canada qualified spots for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in the BC3 and BC4 pairs events.

“Congratulations to the athletes named today to the Canadian boccia team,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “I join all Canadians in wishing you the best as you prepare to represent your country in Toronto and attempt to defend your place at the top of the Parapan Am medal podium in boccia. Your commitment to your sport will surely inspire Canadians during this Year of Sport in Canada.”

The Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, the fifth edition of the Parapan American Games, will host over 1,600 athletes from 28 countries and take place from Aug. 7 to 15. The boccia team is the third of 14 Canadian teams to be selected for nomination to this year’s Games team. The complete Canadian Parapan Am team of approximately 220 athletes will be officially announced in July 2015.


2015 Parapan Am Games – Boccia Roster
National Team
Athlete Last Name Athlete First Name Hometown Classification
Halpen Chris Victoria BC BC1
Dukovich Adam London, ON BC2
Bussière Éric Verchères, QC BC3
Garneau Bruno Montreal, QC BC3
Levine Alison Côte-St-Luc, QC BC4
Vietnieks Caroline North Delta, BC BC4
Mawji Hanif Burnaby, BC BC1
McLeod Tammy Strathroy, ON BC2
Gauthier Paul Vancouver, BC BC3
Dispaltro Marco St-Jérôme, QC BC4
Delisle Mario Montreal, QC Head Coach
Richardson Ed Brampton, ON Coach BC1/2
Nicolai César Montluçon, France  Coach BC4
Sydorak Shannon Prince George, BC Coach BC3

Your sports. Your teams. The ISN Daily Digest.

Sign up to the ISN Daily Digest and sit back while we pick the previous day’s best headlines and speed them straight to your inbox every morning.
Email address
First Name*
We abide by all applicable emailing laws including 100% CAN-SPAM/CASL/US CAN-SPAM Act compliance. No spam!