1. How and why did you start playing bocce?
I started playing Raffa bocce 45 years ago at a competitive level with other clubs around NSW. When the NSW Bocce Federation was established, I had an interest to play bocce. It was my desire to play in the federation competitions and to represent the ladies in that competition which facilitated my move from Raffa to Volo.
2. Which bocce event (singles/doubles/triples/throwing etc.) is your favourite to play, and why?
My favourite events are singles and doubles. When I play singles, I am reliant on my own skills and strategies, and I am determined to win. I also enjoy playing doubles as you have a partner to share and combine your tactics of play. It is also great experience to be part of team.
3. How many medals have you won at the Nationals?
I have won the Women’s Singles Championship in South Australia in 2009.
I have won the Women’s Doubles Championship in Victoria in 2005.
I have also won the Women’s Triples Championship in New South Wales in 2005 and 2016.
4. Which strengths do you believe you have that make you a champion bocce player?
My strengths are my determination to do better, and I have a great deal of patience. I am a calm and tactical player and I use this to my advantage. I am also a team player and I like to encourage and strategise with my partner.
5. Why are you so passionate about playing bocce?
I am passionate about playing bocce as I love sport and I also love to participate and to achieve at a higher level. Bocce enables me to do that. I also enjoy the opportunities of playing competitively. This gives me a chance to enhance and maintain my skills.
6. What are your major highlights and achievements in bocce in the past?
One of the major highlights of playing bocce was being crowned the Australian Women’s Singles Champion in 2009, as well as being crowned the Doubles and Triples Champions with my team members in 2005 and 2016.
My other achievement in bocce is being part of the committee in the NSW Bocce Federation as a treasurer for many years and as a delegate for my club. I have also held the position of Club Captain for many years.
7. What do you believe is the greatest challenge most bocce players are facing today?
The greatest challenge for our sport is the declining membership. Our federation should do more to recruit new members. Perhaps there should be an incentive to bring in new members. Our main concerns should be the lack of juniors and women in the sport.
8. Is there a coach or bocce player that you looked up to when you first started playing as a role model, and why?
My role model in this sport is the Chiandotto family. My brother-in-law Joe (who has passed) and his son Steve Chiandotto, as well as my husband Valerio, have always been very supportive and encouraging. I also look up to Steve Chiandotto and John Olic and their achievements at a national and international level. John Olic was an inspiration to me, and I was impressed with his abilities. This gave me the encouragement to achieve in the sport.
9. How do you prepare to compete in the Nationals?
I prepare by training at least three times a week. I also compete in any competitions whether it is social or competitive. I will travel a great distance to compete and maintain my skills.
10. What one word describes you?