January 26th, 2008

breaking bad


Hope you don't mind me leaving up this Heath Ledger icon as my default. I feel I need to have it here for a while but don't worry that I'm off the edge or anything. We'll remember this one, like Valentino or Monroe IMHO.

Today I went to the Midlands Regional Boccia championships. Boccia is a sport for disabled people, resembling bowling. You can play it in several modes, and one mode (the one I watched) is for players who basically have very little movement (or controlled movement) anywhere in their bodies. The player is supported by a 'ramper' who is not allowed to watch the field of play, but operates and adjusts a ramp to the instructions of the player; the vertically and laterally adjustable ramp rolls each ball onto the field of play. Many of the players can not speak, so they might use eye-movement or whatever to communicate with the ramper. The able-bodied ramper is entirely dependent on the disabled player.

Now, I tell you what, these players don't fuck about. The atmosphere is perhaps in some ways more like chess than say tennis, but in any case it is heavy concentration, and no quarter given. My nephew at his first competitive tournament lost every match he played in, but I could see him upping his game during the day, and he now knows the kind of task ahead of him to get to top class play.