Monday, June 24, 2024

Petanque Tournament success

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Counting family, friends and players, over 100 people gathered at St Brigid’s Church last Saturday for the third Maldon Petanque Club tournament. Following two last-minute scratchings, 22 teams of three players took to the pistes to play five games apiece. Two of these teams were drawn from local players, three came from Bendigo and others came from further afield.

It was a great day! The weather was kind, there was plenty of camaraderie as well as competition among the teams and the Maldon Men’s Shed cooked up a storm for lunch. Thanks to tournament director Sue Ackland, the day ran smoothly. Sue and her spreadsheet didn’t miss a beat, in the lead-up to the tournament and on the day itself. 

The winners on the day were, of course, a French trio: Stephane Langlois, Muriel Langlois and Chris Serre. They took home the Forster Cup and a $600 cheque, courtesy of the Community Bank Maldon & District. Over the Maldon Petanque Club’s past three tournaments, there has been a strong contingent of Melbourne-based French players with their eyes on the prize. They are the ones to beat! 

Congratulations should also go to Maldon players Phil Hopley, Bruce Ackland and Sandy Noble, who came eighth – an impressive achievement when you consider they were competing against some of Victoria’s best players.  

The Maldon Petanque Club would like to acknowledge the generosity of its sponsors: the Community Bank Maldon & District, Boules Australia and Cantwell Property. The Bank has been on board as a valued sponsor from the first tournament, as has Boules Australia. Cantwell Property is the Maldon Petanque Club’s latest sponsor. Cantwells provided an encouragement award which went to three Bendigo Petanque Club members – Ian, Jo and Kerrie – who are new to the tournament circuit.  

One of the Maldon Petanque Club’s foundation members is talented artist Steve Phillis, and as in previous years Steve provided his artwork as a major raffle prize. Steve outdid himself this time, providing not one but three paintings! Sincere thanks to Steve; health-wise, he is doing it tough but still took the time to support the Club.  

While Petanque is a sport that is played right across Melbourne and the regions, there’s no doubt that it’s hugely popular right here in Maldon. In fact, Maldon has not one but two Petanque clubs – a sociable pétanque club that meets once a fortnight to enjoy a couple of games on the pistes at the old Penny School and the ‘official’ Maldon Petanque Club which is based at St Brigid’s. This official club comes under the umbrella of the Petanque Federation of Australia (PFA). The PFA provides insurance, coaching, referees and support for tournaments across Australia, as well as sending national teams to play in overseas tournaments.  

And regional support for petanque is a growing phenomenon. While petanque has been played in Maldon for over 20 years, a Ballarat club was created a just few years ago and a very keen Bendigo club was affiliated with the PFA only six months ago.  

Interested in learning more about petanque? You’re welcome to come along and have a try at the Maldon Petanque Club on a Sunday afternoon. There are always spare boules available as well as some friendly advice. It’s a game for all ages and all abilities.    

You might also like to give sociable petanque a try. The sociable and ‘official’ clubs play on alternate Sundays – see the Community Diary for more information.

Tarrangower Times 10 May 2024

This article appeared in the Tarrangower Times, 10 May 2024.

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