Jacob Thomas /

Jacob Thomas

Date of Birth

17 October 1994

Sport

Boccia

From

Pembrokeshire

Biography

Although Jacob could walk as a toddler and young child - and grew to love sport - the muscular dystrophy that progressively weakened his muscles means he is now a permanent wheelchair user.

By chance, Jacob's learning support officer at school got a copy of the boccia rules and some balls so he could give it a go.  That was about eight years ago when Jacob still had the use of his hands.  A couple of months later he took part in a competition with some school friends, which they won, before he got involved with the boccia blasters in Cardiff.

He was invited to Sheffield on a GB talent weekend and they advised Jacob to use a ramp rather than throw, meaning going from BC4 class to BC3.

Jacob was Welsh Champion in 2010 and went even better by becoming the 2010 British Champion - beating fellow Welsh player Karl Parish in the final. He is now a member of the GB Elite Boccia squad.

After learning of his London 2012 selection in April, Jacob went on to compete for GB at the Boccia test event in May where he took a bronze in the individual event and gold in the BC3 Pair event with teammate Jess Hunter.

His father Mike is his assistant on court and also runs the Crymych Panthers boccia club, which the family set up. He says, '"It's changed our lives. We've been so many places - although you don't get to see much because you're so busy with competition. It can be hard work but very rewarding at the same time."

Jacob attends mainstream Ysgol Y Preseli, juggling schoolwork with his intense training and competition regime and this year took his GCSEs. He hopes to go on to study sport in college.

News about Jacob /