BORDERS Boccia player Patrick Wilson has narrowly missed out on a medal at the World Championships in Spain.

The 21-year-old finished fourth in the hotly contested BC3 category.

Patrick's fourth place has elevated his official ranking to sixth in the world.

And the Peebles player is hoping to climb even higher by getting onto the podium when he flies out to the World Open in America later this month and also at the European Championships in Portugal in October.

Patrick, who has cerebral palsy, has been playing Boccia since 2011.

And he has already competed in two World Championships, numerous World Opens and European Championships as well as the Paralympics in Rio last year.

A member of East of Scotland Boccia Club and 2017 Live Borders Celebration of Sport Inspirational Performance winner, Patrick is keen to stress that, although it is played mainly by “properly disabled” people, Boccia is just as competitive as any other mainstream sport.

He explained: "I’m generalising but boccia players are by far and away the most disabled athletes at a Paralympic Games.

"Some of us, like me, can’t even hold a ball.

"We use ramps and have on court assistants. So, it’s fair to say that 99 per cent of people who play boccia to international level simply could not play any other sport.

"The main thing that sets boccia apart from all other sports, even within the Paralympics is the athletes.

"I think when some people hear or see the severe nature of our impairments, they assume the sport is going to a bit timid, that we may just be happy to finally playing sport properly.

"That’s why they are shocked when they see a top-level event and see just how tense it is.

"We really, really, really want to win. And that’s understatement. I have played in World opens, European Championships, World Championships and Paralympics and the atmosphere at these tournaments is unique."

Patrick hopes to compete closer to home next month when the third Open Boccia Championships are held at the Queen’s Centre in Galashiels.

The tournament on September 30 is hosted by Live Borders in partnership with the Borders Disability Sports Group and Scottish Disability Sport.

Live Borders disability sports officer Alan Oliver said: “Boccia is becoming really popular in the Borders and it has expanded dramatically over the past four years, now being played in five areas.

“With the Borders Boccia Club going from strength to strength it provides the ideal opportunity to promote the sport in the Borders and to welcome players across the region and beyond.

“It lets the Borders players experience a competitive environment after a long time of practicing and playing games amongst themselves.

“To hold a National series boccia event in the Borders is an honour and testament to how well Boccia has developed and Patrick’s success on the national stage underlines that further.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer at the Open Boccia Championships should contact Alan on