Let’s play petanque!

Being involved in any sport is good for our physical and mental health, and we know that playing boule is good way of getting exercise and fresh air, socialising, meeting new friends and contributing to our overall wellbeing. After a long winter, our members are looking forward to being able to play petanque again and there is lots to look forward to over the coming months.

We have already seen new members join in-between lockdowns and as restrictions are lifted we hope to see more people looking for new outdoor pursuits and joining our clubs. New members of all ages and abilities are always welcome, so do to come and try petanque.

Most of our clubs will reopen very soon and start their regular club sessions within the latest rules. Petanque England’s updated Play Safe Guidelines give full details of what is permitted from Monday 29th March, and Vice President Martin Hughes is always happy to provide guidance if anything is not clear. He can be contacted at vp@englishpetanque.org.uk

Many of us signed-up for Winter Doubles back in the autumn, and this competition is still running, albeit rather later than planned. The original draws still stand, so players can now organise their games when ready. The end date has been delayed until 27th June and the Winter Doubles Final is now planned for 3rd July at Burridge.

In a ‘normal’ year our leagues would be under way by now, but of course that has not been possible. We still plan to run the 6-a-side Leagues this year, but starting from 17th May, which is when we hope that most venues will be fully open. Thanks as always to League Fixtures Secretary Dave Stubbs for all his hard work in organising this.

The SCPA calendar gives details of the many full-day competitions planned from April, with club opens across the region and all our usual SCPA Regional competitions (except the International Weekend of Petanque, which regrettably has had to be cancelled again this year).

Inter-regionals are the highlight of the petanque year for many of us, and are currently being planned by PE at a new venue; changes at Mill Rythe mean they can no longer accommodate us there. Look out for announcements from the PE Board as we know they are actively working on inter-regional plans and will share the with us as soon as they have confirmed.

For those who play in National events, there are many PE national competitions going ahead, including rankings for anyone who has aspirations to play for England. See the PE website for details.

And finally, our Juniors have much to look forward to, with a new youth development programme and the National Youth Squad. Contact Junior Coaches Kath Knight or Mark Duncan if you want to know more about these.

The SCPA Committee hope that you will enjoy getting back to playing petanque soon, and will support your clubs and regional competitions if you are able to do so.