England Call-up for Sporting Lincoln Graduate

7 June 2022

Written by: hgamble

A graduate from University of Lincoln, UK has been selected for the England Futures Squad at Boccia.

A graduate from University of Lincoln, UK has been selected for the England Futures Squad at Boccia.

Born in Sleaford, Lee Croker, an MSc Sport Science and BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science graduate has made extraordinary progress in his Boccia career. From what started at school, where he was scouted for the Knights Academy in Sheffield, Lee continued to play Boccia throughout his time at university.

Boccia, a Paralympic sport, is precision-based and played indoors on a court similar in size to badminton. It tests muscle control and accuracy, with a high level of concentration required, and is played by athletes with an impairment and conditions that affect all four of their limbs. Lee is classified as a ‘BC3 athlete’ which means he uses a ramp to propel the ball onto court with the support of a sports assistant to help him.

Lee Croker said: “I was excited and relieved that I was chosen for the squad as it meant all my training and hard work had paid off.

“The England Futures team meet up four times a year at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium which is the birthplace of the Paralympics. There I received the best coaching currently available from Boccia England.

“My time at the University of Lincoln was invaluable. The support I received through not only the sports scholarship they offered, but throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate study too.”

Lee received support while at university to continue his training alongside his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees; from the use of training facilities, support with his course and a bespoke timetable around his training.

He also received a sports scholarship from the University which helped fund new equipment.

Thomas Gee, Programme Leader at School of Sport and Exercise Science at University of Lincoln, said: “Lee was a dedicated athlete during his time at Lincoln and was awarded a sports scholarship over three consecutive years for this performance in Boccia.

“Lee was part of the Boccia England Talent pathway and competed in the Boccia Super League for Sheffield. He was successful increasing his national ranking during his time at Lincoln.”

Sandy Willmott, Associate Professor and Programme Leader at School of Sport and Exercise Science, said, “It has been fantastic to work with Lee and see his development as a sport science practitioner, with a particular interest in sports psychology.

“We are delighted that he will continue to apply that knowledge in supporting his own preparation for boccia and more widely within the sport.”