Born and raised in Montreal Canada, Alison Levine started exhibiting noticeable symptoms for Idiopathic Neuromuscular disorder at the age of 12, resulting in weakness in all of her muscles. Participating in many adapted sports (from wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey and wheelchair rugby), it was in 2012 that Alison was introduced to Boccia - "About 3 years ago, I was at a wheelchair rugby tournament when my mentor and pairs partner Marco Dispaltro came seeking new Boccia players. I threw a few balls and fell in love with the sport. The amazing thing about Boccia is how unpredictable it can be. You have to be able to think quickly and make decisions in an instant. Within a few seconds you have to analyse, decide, strategise and execute. It's an intensely strategic sport. I love the unpredictability and excitement that it brings. Within a year I was on the national team".
Discovering that the sport was best suited to her level of disability, Alison hasn't looked back since, winning numerous American and World Championships in 2015 and 2016. "Every day, from morning to night, is like climbing a mountain. Due to my disability, my body is constantly betraying me. I've learned to adapt so many things so that I can function. I must constantly re-adjust and discover new ways to do things. My life consists of going to practice and coming home because as an elite athlete I have chosen to dedicate all the energy I have to my sport. It's hard but I l know that it will pay off".
Eager to prove herself on the grandest stage of all, it's Alison's dream to represent her country and sport as the best in the world. "Boccia means everything to me, it's become my life. Everything I do, all of my energy and time goes into the sport. I've been able to travel the world thanks to Boccia, to meet amazing people and make friendships that will last a lifetime. I have a whole support network that I call my 'Boccia family'. It's absolutely incredible what Boccia has done for me".
Alison is also eager to pass her passion on to a new generation and spread awareness of how Boccia showed her that even with a severe disability, you can still live a happy, active lifestyle - "I've coached the Montreal Junior Boccia Team because I know what the sport can do for someone. It's amazing seeing someone with a severe disability, who is completely dependent on others, take control and have fun. Boccia is more than a sport, it's independence. It opens pathways to greater autonomy and self-confidence".