Smithy hits the mark – Epic European comeback by Boccia superstar
David Smith MBE can now add European Champion to his Paralympic and World Title after a recent nail-biting 5-4 victory against Russia in the BISFed Boccia European Championships, with a little help from Redruth based manufacturer DM Orthotics.
David has been playing Boccia, a game similar to Boules, since he was just seven years old and this year has added to his Paralympic gold medal from Rio 2016 with a World Championship gold medal from Kansas and most recently a European gold medal from Portugal. David has Spastic Hypertonia Cerebral Palsy and was the youngest ever boccia player to win the British Championships at 14 and became world champion at 18.
When asked about his latest achievement David said:
“I am really satisfied with this season, to go unbeaten is even above my expectations! I changed my coach this year and that has certainly helped. Portugal was the final hurdle and was the toughest European Championships I have ever seen. Next session is the World championships and to continue my development I shall be playing competitively in my DMO suit for the first time!”
DM Orthotics design and manufacture made-to-measure dynamic movement orthoses to help both children and adults manage the physical effects of their neuro-muscular conditions. Their orthoses cover patients top to toe with the DMO suit, glove, sock and shorts amongst the most popular orthoses with David wearing the DMO Scoliosis suit to help manage the physical effects of his Cerebral Palsy.
Neil Hinde, one of the Clinical Specialist Physiotherapists at DM Orthotics, said:
“David has worked hard over the last few years using his DMO suit to build up and improve his strength and conditioning set whilst training in the gym. His posture has changed during this period due to his dynamic activity that cannot be achieved in his rigid TLSO brace. He has improved in his power through being able to access a larger, more controlled range of movement in the trunk and shoulder which he is transferring into his Boccia. David continues to progress from his base levels prior to the introduction of the suit”.
David’s DMO Scoliosis Suit helps control his postural muscles and allows him to work on and strengthen his core during his three gym-based training sessions per week. David is working towards the next Paralympic games which are to be held in Tokyo in 2020.