Sunday, 14 October 2018

Fay Hart, more than a winner

Apart from an amazing sports woman, Fay Hart, key member of YMCA East Surrey Boccia Club player, is an inspiration, although she feels  "that’s quite a strong phrase to use". Recently, she won the Reigate and Banstead Disabled Sport Award, sponsored by Simply Sports, and in this interview she tells us his experience and his next challenge: the Boccia England Surrey Scorpions Academy.

- How did you feel after knowing that you are going to receive the Reigate and Banstead Sports Awards?

I had no idea at all actually. I was totally unaware until arriving at the awards and reading my name in the programme. Once I realised, I was really touched and couldn’t quite believe it.

- How did your friends, family, team members receive the new? 

I’ve had such a positive response from everyone. Especially from my team and coaches, that means so much. My mum and Dad came with me on the night of the awards, along with Emma from the YMCA it was so nice to celebrate with them.
The next day when I went to use the gym at YMCA, quite a few staff were keen to congratulate me. 

Fay Hart after receiving the Reigate Sport Award.

- Why do you think you have been selected for this award?

That’s a tough question. I think it’s because Boccia is my passion and I have a determined approach towards it. After having health problems earlier in the year, I had to take a break from Boccia. I was keen to come back from that and develop further, which hasn’t been easy. You certainly have to have a level of drive about you to be able to do that. It’s important to mention I’ve also had much invaluable support along with my determination, which is a great combination.

- How important is the sport in your life?

It is very important and has become somewhat of a lifestyle aside from the activity itself. I find the whole process of Boccia: playing, training, setting and achieving goals and exercising to get stronger a form of release from life’s other stresses. 

- Do you feel as an inspiration for others?

I feel that’s quite a strong phrase to use. I’m just keen to develop and further my skills and if someone takes something from how I do that, then that’s good.

- Tell us about your experience in the YMCA Boccia Club?

When I came to the YMCA Boccia club, everyone was so welcoming, I was quite tentative and wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to throw the ball. I had played some years before when I was younger and my muscles were less affected by my condition. To my surprise, I was able to throw the ball. I couldn’t throw it consistently though, but everyone really encouraged me and that really did help me to improve. This, along with hard work, not only meant I became able to throw the ball properly, but it also gave me the skillset I needed to succeed to the point I have and to continue doing so. Without  the YMCA Boccia Club, the things I have  experienced so far would not have been possible and for that, I am very grateful.

Fay Hart along Adrian Pointer (Simply Sports).

- Which are new challenges (training, competitions...)?

With regard to challenges, I now have a place at the Boccia England Surrey Scorpions Academy, where I am lucky enough to play and train alongside some of the England players. That’s a massive challenge in itself, because I look up to them and would like to be playing for England myself in the future. Competition wise, I’m entering the Heathcoat Cup in early 2019. Last year I qualified with a gold medal in my category, but wasn’t well enough to attend the finals. This time around, I hope to qualify again and get another chance to go to the finals, because succeeding there could potentially open doors to new opportunities for me.

- Why would you recommend to practise sport? 

I would say that sport isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have the chance to try a sport and enjoy it, then it is worth pursuing.