Tresham worker helps athlete to Paralympics gold medal in Rio

Sarah and David in the gold medal match.
Sarah and David in the gold medal match.

A Tresham College worker has spoken of her delight after she assisted an athlete on his way to a gold medal in Rio.

Tresham’s head of school for health, care, early years and access to higher education Sarah Nolan helped David Smith win gold in the BC1 Boccia Mixed Individual final at the Paralympics.

Sarah and David with the gold medal.

Sarah and David with the gold medal.

She has been David’s on-court assistant for the past eight years, helping him win gold at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012.

This time she assisted him as he beat Holland’s Daniel Perez with a final score of 5-0 to claim gold.

Sarah said: “The atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic. The noise from the crowd was great – something David feeds off.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to really get boccia on the map.

“I am really thankful to Tresham for showing their support and allowing me to take the time off to assist with David in his competition so he could compete in the Paralympics.

“It really is special to have been able to be involved in such a fantastic event. Well done David!”

Boccia is one of three Paralympic sports specifically invented for athletes with disabilities.

Boccia is a target sport that tests muscle control and accuracy, demanding extreme skill and concentration at the highest level. The sport is similar to boules or petanque.

Each player has six soft leather balls they must land as close as they can to the white jack ball.