Boccia: Dijkstra to compete in Asia-Pacific champs

Dunedin's Henk Dijkstra will return to the international stage at the Asia-Oceania championships in Sydney in October.

He will be competing in the BC3 ramp in his first major international event since competing at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.

Dijkstra (52) first competed internationally at the world championships in Sydney in 1995 and his highlight was to finish fourth in the pairs with Greig Jackson at the Athens Paralympics in 2004.

His first Paralympics was in Atlanta in 1996. A top performance in Sydney would help his selection chances for the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics in 2016.

Dijkstra was born with cerebral palsy and has severe physical disabilities. Simple things that most people take for granted create difficulties for him. Travelling outside his home is a big ordeal for him.

This makes the fact he has done the hours of training to be able to amass 90 caps for New Zealand even more remarkable.

Boccia is played competitively in 50 countries and New Zealand has been on the world scene since the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.

The best international performance was a team silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games, followed two years later by a team world title at the 2006 Rio de Janeiro world championships.

Dijkstra must contribute $1500 towards the cost of his trip to Sydney.

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