Well, one of the chaps who came to play with us that Saturday has joined and plays regularly for 'fun', but he also has a serious reason – he is taking part in the 19th International Transplant Games in Durban (South Africa). The games are being held between 28th July and 4th August 2013. (The games are open to anyone who has had a transplant of some sort - he has had a kidney transplant. We are not eligible as some of us have only had replacements – knees, hips etc.) He attended the annual UK&NI games in Bath 2010, Belfast 2011 and Medway 2012 playing Badminton & Squash!
Pétanque was one of the games at the 18th International Transplant Games held in Sweden in 2011 and he was determined to get a British Pétanque Team together for the 2013 games. He is currently lobbying to get Petanque introduced as one of the core games in the UK & NI Transplant games (it is not played currently) as it is an ideal sport for Transplant Athletes. Petanque is one of a list of sports that can be selected by the hosting country for the world games but is not a core sport yet. South Africa chose to make it one of their selected sports!
Meanwhile, he has joined us to learn to play while the lobbying goes ahead. We have, as you know, a qualified coach, so conditions for an aspiring Pétanque athlete are ideal. The actual terrain to play on is a bit more tricky, but we have a couple of places to play at the moment. In the future we want to be in the forefront helping people learn to play.
He is the captain of the newly formed Pétanque team going to the games. We have been training him at Pétanque as hard as we can go to get him in shape for the games in 2013. He has never played before but is working hard so he is at least beaten in style ...
He got a nice little bag for Christmas in which to stow all his kit – his boules, little cloth to polish them, cochonnets, licence and he now also has his top with appropriate embroidery and Pétanque on the back – and we are very excited. He is coming on in leaps and bounds: pointing very well and learning to be a fiend at shooting! One of our members who has played in competitions before says he is doing very well, but will be against tough opposition – but we've got to start somewhere. This is the games website: http://www.wtg2013.com/
We wish him the very best in his endeavours and will post things here whenever we can.