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‘Mr Boccia’, Roy McGee, from Wymondham, honoured by national body for his volunteering spirit

PUBLISHED: 09:01 07 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:01 07 July 2017

Roy McGee. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Roy McGee. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Archant Norfolk 2016

He has dedicated much of the past decade helping others to enjoy the sport he loves.

Roy McGee, of Wymondham, giving youngsters a few tips on boccia. Picture: Jon Reed, Purple CubedRoy McGee, of Wymondham, giving youngsters a few tips on boccia. Picture: Jon Reed, Purple Cubed

And now Roy McGee, from Wymondham, has been honoured with a ‘volunteer of the year’ award for his dedication to boccia.

Mr McGee, 69, was presented with the Boccia England award after a league finals event in Sheffield on Saturday.

He said he was “gobsmacked” by the honour.

Mr McGee said: “I have a team in the national league and they won through the East 1 league and we got through to the national finals.

Roy McGee, of Wymondham, giving youngsters a few tips on boccia. Picture: Jon Reed, Purple CubedRoy McGee, of Wymondham, giving youngsters a few tips on boccia. Picture: Jon Reed, Purple Cubed

“I was refereeing there as well.

“My guys were fantastic and at the end of a long day they presented me with a certificate for volunteer of the year which was amazing.”

The honour follows Mr McGee being named ‘volunteer coach of the year’ at the 2016 Norfolk Sports Awards for the way he has engaged and inspired others to get into sport.

Affectionately known as ‘Mr Boccia’, Mr McGee said he devotes more than 15 hours a week to the sport, and coaches weekly sessions at Norwich’s University of East Anglia and Sewell Park Academy Leisure Centre.

Roy McGee, of Wymondham, giving youngsters a few tips on boccia. Picture: Jon Reed, Purple CubedRoy McGee, of Wymondham, giving youngsters a few tips on boccia. Picture: Jon Reed, Purple Cubed

He has grown attendance at the two groups by 500pc and he created the North Norfolk Boccia Academy for 30 people where players are constantly working on representing Norwich nationally in the sport.

In 2016 alone Mr McGee led about 130 boccia sessions and drove 7,000 ‘boccia miles’ - going to and from training sessions and events.

He said: “My my wife says she’s a boccia widow.”

Mr McGee, who served in the army and later as a prison officer, also coaches a monthly group for the Norfolk and Norwich Association for The Blind.

He said it was a sport anybody could enjoy - from children to pensioners, as well as people with disabilities.

Mr McGee said: “I’ve played sport throughout my life and I was a goal keeper for 33 years.

“About 10 years ago I thought I can’t run and jump anymore but about I can play bowls, which is basically what boccia is.

“I’m pretty enthusiastic about this sport - there’s just something about it.”

Do you know of somebody who has been given an award for volunteering? Email stuart.anderson@archant.co.uk

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