Sheffield sports club is on the up

The Sheffield Smashers boccia group
The Sheffield Smashers boccia group
Have your say

A SPORTS club in Sheffield with Paralympic ambitions is going from strength to strength – thanks to a donation from a charity appeal backed by The Star.

Sheffield Smashers, a boccia team for young disabled people, was given a £1,000 grant through the Star-backed 12 Days of Christmas appeal, run by city charity Help A Child Have A Chance.

The cash has been used to buy new equipment including two sets of boccia balls, a ramp, scoreboards, measures and bats, as well as funding coaching for nine people.

Boccia is a sport similar to bowls played by athletes with more severe physical disabilities.

Now, in a move to get more players involved, the Smashers will now be based at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in the city centre, running sessions every Thursday evening.

The club is run for disabled people aged eight to 25.

Karen Codling, team chairman, said: “The players are training hard and, with the new equipment, this will support us in our aim to one day compete in the Paralympic Games. The donation has made a difference to our club and we’re grateful for their help and support.”

The campaign gave children or youth organisations the chance to receive a slice of £10,000. Worthy recipients were nominated by Star readers, and the winners were announced over the festive season last year.

Funding for club T-shirts and venue hire has been donated by law firm Irwin Mitchell, where Karen is associate director.

* For details about the Smashers, email

* For more about the charity, visit Help a child have a chance