Jigsaw NI’s “Mary’s Mates” win the Sam Hunter Boccia tournament 2 years in a row

Monday 5 September 2011 by Jigsaw NI

Boccia is an inclusive activity/sport that is suitable for all ages and abilities. The game is played from a seated position and with small leather balls. The aim of the game is for each team to propel and land their Boccia balls closer to the white jack than their opposing team.

Marys Mates

Boccia is a great way of getting people active, while adding a little competitive edge when playing games. Jigsaw NI organise and facilitate a weekly session of Boccia in Andersonstown Leisure Centre on Thursday mornings 10.30-11.30am and it is a very popular activity with our service users. Boccia is a Sport that can be enjoyed by absolutely anyone regardless of age or ability both in a friendly or competitive environment. 

This tournament is named after a local community worker, ‘Sam Hunter’ who set up and organised many programmes to engage people in various activities and the tournament has been going for 8 years after Sam sadly passed away.

“Mary’s Mates” one of Jigsaw NI Boccia teams competed against 15 other Boccia teams from all areas of Belfast and are the first to win the Sam Hunter Shield for two consecutive years since it began in 2003. 

The Name “Mary’s Mates” is dedicated to a former participant in the Jigsaw NI Boccia group who sadly passed away last year and is missed very much.

Clare Lagan, Manager of Jigsaw NI, said “It is a fantastic achievement for the team to win the Sam Hunter tournament, not once but two years in a row. Congratulations to the “Mary’s Mates” team.”

Jigsaw NI win prestigious Award in the Belfast Sports Awards

Wednesday 30 March 2011 by Clare Lagan

Jigsaw NI was nominated for the Health and Physical Activity category of the Belfast Sports Awards 2011 by Janet Flynn, Divis Community Centre, Lois Craig, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust – Brain Injury Team and Robert McQuiston, Older and Active Leader, BCSDN.

Jigsaw awards night

The Health and Physical Activity category sponsored by Boccia NI and WISPA, is an award to recognise the contribution of an individual or group promoting healthy living and affecting a change in culture and attitudes in Belfast. 

Jigsaw NI organises and facilitates Physical Activity and Art classes for adults with disabilities across Greater Belfast and Bangor. The Physical Activity classes range from Swimming, Soccer, Boccia, Chair-based Aerobics and Keep-Fit in the gym. All groups are made up of individuals with a range of disabilities, including Brain injury, Mobility problems, Cerebral Palsy, Sensory impairments, Multiple sclerosis, Arthritis, Learning disability etc. Classes are held in community settings, so as to promote social inclusion and decrease the isolation felt by individuals with disabilities. Jigsaw NI is a service open to anyone over the age of 18 from the greater Belfast area and South Eastern Trust area that has some form of disability or debilitating illness. 

Jigsaw NI has worked very hard to change the culture and attitudes people in Belfast have about people with disabilities participating in Sport and Physical Activity. Our members have found that becoming involved in a social group within their local community has improved their self-esteem, mobility, confidence, mood and their health in general.  Jigsaw NI is a great believer and huge promoters that Physical Activity is for ALL and that everyone can benefit from Physical Activity.

Jigsaw awards night

Jigsaw NI was invited to Belfast City Hall for the prestigious Belfast Sports Awards 2011, held on Thursday 31st March and was awarded the Health and Physical Activity category award.  Attending on behalf of Jigsaw NI were Director – Nora Harte, Manager – Clare Lagan and Programme Assistant – Liz Bowman. Clare Lagan, Manager of Jigsaw NI said “We are happy to have been nominated and absolutely delighted to be named the Winner of the Health and Physical Activity award. It shows that the service Jigsaw NI offers is one that is valued and is recognised as one that promotes Healthy living and makes a positive change to the culture and attitudes in Belfast. We would like to thank BCSDN and anyone involved in the organising and running of the Belfast Sports Awards event.”

If you are interested in finding out more about Jigsaw NI or referring to one of our groups, contact Clare or Liz on 028 90319054. 

Divis Mural

Friday 25 March 2011 by Clare Lagan

On 25th February 2011, the unveiling of an exciting new mural in the hallway of Divis Community Centre took place. The Art piece, funded by Jigsaw NI and made by the Jigsaw NI Friday Divis group depicts the old Divis flats in West Belfast. 

Divis group mural 2011

Artist Shauna McCann worked with the participants to create the piece which is proudly suitated in the hallway of Divis Community Centre.  The central piece is made from ceramic while the borders are ceramic relief and mosaic. The borders illustrate the broad range of activities within the community centre to include boxing, judo, Irish and salsa dancing, afterschools and activities for seniors.  Some of the tiles were also placed by local children. 

Participant Geraldine Malone said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the project. I learned new art skills and participants came from both within West Belfast and across the city to take part.  This project brought back a lot of memories about what the old Divis flats on the Falls Road used to look like.”

Participant Cecilia Donnelly added: “Since starting this project I have gained a lot, it has given me a lot of confidence which I didn’t have previously. I really enjoyed working on this.” 

Divis group

Praising the participants involved Shauna McCann (Artist) said:  “This was such a worthwhile experience for the participants.  As it is a mixed ability group everyone’s skills were utilised and everyone contributed to the overall piece.” 

Clare Lagan, Manager of Jigsaw NI thanked everyone who helped in any way with the project. She said: “It is great to see this group getting the recognition they deserve. A lot of time, care and effort went into this project and it has paid off. Well done and congratulations to all group members and Shauna, our Artist.

This project was funded by Jigsaw NI and supported by Belfast City Council Divis Community Centre.


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Northern Ireland

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