Lewis is looking good in his chosen sport of Boccia

Lewis CrawfordLewis Crawford is a very keen young boccia bowler and his efforts over the past year were recognised by his being nominated for the junior disability sport section of the Sport Pembrokeshire Awards and he was the recipient of a splendid engraved glass trophy in recognition of his runners-up place.
Lewis attends Ysgol Harri Tudor in Pembroke and uses a wheelchair because of illness and took up the game almost by chance when the school needed one more player to compete in the Pembrokeshire Schools Boccia Championships - and he was roped in to play as the third member of the team.
He literally had just ten minutes of practice before the start but obviously took to it well as he and his team mates came in first place!

Boccia explained by Lewis

His performance must have been impressive because Angela Miles, who does such a brilliant job of coaching the Crymych Panthers Boccia Club, invited him to join them and he’s been practising with them almost every Monday evening since at the Haverfordwest Sports Village.
He has his own boccia kit which comprises six red balls and six blue balls, plus the white jack which aligns the game somewhat with bowls - but with the difference that the balls vary in density from one that can be very soft through to the hardest of them all, which is akin to a cricket ball.
So, tactics are very much part of the game as one player uses red and the other blue balls, with the aim being to get as many balls closer to the jack than your opponent. There are several different categories that range from players like Lewis who are able to throw the balls, to others like the late, great Jacob Thomas, who reached the Paralympics using a ramp and a helmet with a spike on it to knock the ball off the ramp.

More boccia challenges soon for Lewis

As well as his practice sessions at Haverfordwest, Lewis also has to travel further afield since he is now in the Disability Wales’ squad and the latest training session was in Caldecott, near Newport.
Next month Lewis is off to Antrim, Northern Ireland, to compete in the Challengers’ event, as usual in the BC4 classification for Boccia players who are able to throw the balls - and again it is part of his growing skills and ability to compete under pressure.
He is already looking forward to more competitions in the near future, after competing in the first Jacob Thomas Memorial Competition in Haverfordwest - and in August took part in the Welsh Disability Championships at The Velodrome at Newport, coming third  as his Panthers’ team-mate Ioan Williams came second.
The pair also play well in doubles and it is good that they push each other in training.

Lewis Crawford with Ioan Williams

Family support as he enjoys his other interests

He has the full support of his parents, Ann and John - and also has encouragement from his older sister Jasmine, who is a very useful competitor in Judo at Neyland Judo Club and will soon be off to Sanguinet, in France (their twinned judo town) where they are holding a competition..
Outside of his boccia, Lewis likes Geography in school and enjoys playing computer games; and is a useful swimmer who has been able to master freestyle, breast stroke, backstroke and is working on butterfly as he has received certificates for swimming 200 metres which he now has on his bedroom wall. He has two dogs in Poppy and Phoebe and he loves taking them along the seafront at Neyland Marina.

High praise from Angela

Angela Miles, who has been totally involved in his journey so far told us,
“I first met Lewis in March 2022 when he  was a little uncertain as he came to the schools’ boccia championships and immediately showed his potential. He is ready to listen to advice and showed promise in another area of the game when he came along to the Junior Schools’ Boccia Championships and helped out as a scorer.
“If he manages to maintain his present momentum then we are going to hear a lot more about Lewis in the future.”
‘PembrokeshireSport.co.uk’ could pay him no higher compliment than that delivered by an expert in Mrs Miles - and we can only join in with our congratulations and wish him every success in the future!

Lewis Crawford on the stage at the Sport Pembrokeshire Awards