Team YC’s Trip to the Chicagoland Regional Boccia Tournament

Team YC traveled to Chicago January 15-17 to compete in the Chicagoland Regional Boccia Tournament. Synergy Adaptive Athletics hosted the Tournament at the Fort Hill Activity Center. They arrived in Chicago Friday night after a long van ride and enjoyed a Chicago classic together: deep dish pizza! Saturday was the main competition day, with athletes competing in matches from 9 to 5.

The four athletes, Will Gallup, Bob Vitko, Sarah Steimle, and Sean Walker, worked extremely hard in all of their matches, and their effort paid off. Everyone won at least one match against challenging opponents. Boccia competition is divided into classifications based on one’s disability. Sean brought home bronze for the BC3 pool, Sara won bronze for the BC2 pool, and Will captured the bronze for the BC1s. Youth Challenge is proud of our athletes’ progress with their boccia skills, and they’ve proven that they are competitive with some of the best boccia players in the country.

That night, the team took the vans downtown to spend some time in the city. They ate dinner together at the Urban Market and then visited Willis Tower. The tower hosts an immersive museum experience where they learned about the history of Chicago, famous city traditions, and all the things that make Chicago unique. After the museum, Team YC traveled up 108 stories to visit the SkyDeck. They made their way out onto the glass ledge to look down at the city from 1,350 feet! It was such a cool experience, and they were all so grateful to experience it together.

Before heading back to YC on Sunday, the athletes participated in a skills clinic hosted by Team USA Boccia coaches. They worked on throwing techniques, discussed ball placement, and mastered the skill of grunting on each throw. It was great to receive one-on-one feedback from the coaches on ways the athletes can improve individually. Team YC also learned how it could continue to expand its boccia team.

Team YC looks forward to weekly boccia practices in the YC gym to continue developing the athletes who competed on this trip and a new group of Youth Challenge athletes who are just starting their boccia experience. This tournament was a great opening to the winter/spring season, and the YC boccia team can’t wait for more fun adventures!