Message from the President

Our first Members Meeting of this year, following the spate of meetings at the end of last year and the AGM in March was recently held at the Wenvoe Arms, home of the Wenvoe Pétanque Club. The numbers attending were on the low side, but not unexpected at this time of the year.

There was a lively and quite extensive discussion of topical playing issues, which gave the Executive Committee (EC) a chance to listen to and respond to Members’ views and comments on several of the recent WPA competitions. It was all very useful material for the EC to consider, especially as they preparation the calendar and planning for next season.

Among the issues which came up was funding for clubs, and in particular for clothing and equipment, and Tony Smith, the Treasurer, was keen to give out useful information on sources of funding. He repeated that EC members are more than happy to assist clubs in preparing funding applications to appropriate bodies – which can help clubs pay for things like team shirts, sets of boule for beginners, practice equipment, and to cover the cost of attending coaching courses.

We discussed in some detail the latest news on Tony’s on-going efforts to clarify our insurance cover, and we agreed to report back on further work we are doing with the insurers to try to maximise or improve the cover for our players and clubs. A number of important questions were asked by Members and we will be doing our best to get the answers!

We talked about the need to create proper training and playing facilities, and I have produced a separate message about that under the heading “Development Fund”.

We also had a lively discussion about how the WPA invites teams to play in international tournaments. The detail is already set out and published in the Rules of Entry, which were updated at the start of this season, with the help of some of our most experienced “international” players.

Following that discussion, the EC has been considering the further work it needs to do to clarify and publicise information about this, and related subjects, and further policy guidelines will be published shortly.

A number of concerns were raised about this season’s competitions, and the EC will be constantly reviewing how events go to see what needs to be improved on for later events and for next season.

One decision which has been made is to try to organise events where possible without “byes”, and from this meeting onwards entries will be monitored more closely so that the “cut off” will be applied when the last even numbered team enters, with later entering teams going onto a standby list, and being invited to play if an earlier registered team drops out.

If teams enter using the electronic application form their entry time is automatically generated, and so teams enter in a known date/ time order. It is important for teams to ensure that their electronic entry is correctly submitted – and acknowledged! If in doubt, contact Jean-Yves or Tony as soon as possible.

Jean-Yves asked for nominations for the appointments of National Coach, National Umpire, Medical Officer and Child Protection Officer. Please contact the Exec if you are interested in applying.

Please also contact the EC if you are in a team due to play in the Home Nations or Inter Regional but have to withdraw, so that reserve players can be invited to attend.

The meeting covered a lot of other topics, but I hope this gives you some news. There is a lot going on in the background to further our sport. Come to the next General Meeting to hear more!

Dan Murphy
President
22/6/15

President – Update

Members will, I hope, be pleased to know that a revised set of Entry Rules for WPA Competitions is about to be published. It has taken time because of the changes to the qualification process which required a complete review of all the relevant rules.

The new version also tries to take into account feedback from players, and has been expanded to provide additional detail and information, and some guidance notes, which we hope will be helpful to players taking part, especially in the various qualifying competitions, and for those who go on to represent Wales.

In my last message I wrote that the WPA was intending to link entry to the Home Nations and Inter Regional qualifying events, but I am pleased to advise that, following further consideration of the Members’ views, the decision has been made not to link it for this season.

So Members can enter teams on the basis that they wish to qualify for one, or other, or both events, but they do not have to enter both. The WPA of course would be delighted if every team could enter and try to qualify for both events.

The additional information also contains some news about bursaries for players representing Wales.

The Executive Committee is also working on ways to give some financial support to the development of clubs and club facilities to encourage clubs to grow and expand their facilities. We intend to publish a note on this in due course, but in essence we would like to link funding from the WPA with a Club’s own efforts to raise funds, and in particular by accessing funds currently available through local government supported bodies. More information will be available from Tony Smith, the Treasurer.

2015 Women’s Single World Championships – Nice, France.

The WPA Executive was notified very late into the season that the Singles competition had been upgraded to a full men’s and women’s World Championships by the FIPJP. As a result of this late notification, this competition had not been included in the selection process for the ladies in 2014.

The WPA Executive, in conjunction with the National Coach, assessed several potential candidates selected from the 2014 Ladies squad and the results of the National Singles.
As no consensus could be reached, the WPA Executive has decided not to send any women to the event in 2015, but to include this competition as part of the selection process in 2015 for both men and women.

WPA Executive

2014 WPA 10th Anniversary Pin

2014 WPA 10th Anniversary Pin
2014 WPA 10th Anniversary Pin

 

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the WPA, a pin has been commissioned base upon the original WPA membership pin.

This pin will be issued to all current members of the WPA, via your club executive.  The pins are now being distributed to all club secretaries for their members.

Should members wish to purchase another 2014 pin, there is a limited number for sale at £2.50 plus P&P.

 

WPA Executive Members visit North Wales

Saturday 17th August.

Last weekend executive members Jean-Yves Robic (JY), Kon Tomczyk (KT), Peter Beresford (PB) accompanied by Barbara Vaughan (BV) visited the residential home of Llys-Erw in Ruthin North Wales.

The warden and residents have just built a terrain in the grounds for residents and families to be able to participate in the game of boule.

The purpose of the visit was to give some direction on how to play the game, demonstrate the various techniques required to enable them to enjoy the game of boule.

For the residents it was to have a sport they can enjoy, be slightly competitive and gain useful exercise when doing so.

We were met by Anna Newman (Warden) and her colleague Anne at the Castle Hotel and over some refreshments discussed the plan for the day. We were taken to the resident’s home to find Frank (the main man for installing the terrain and getting the whole thing off the ground) busy cooking enough food to feed an army.

The two pistes were constructed of local material with a topping of crushed slate, which was found to be quite testing.

New players at Ruthin, North Wales.

Frank had also arranged for several picnic type benches to be installed for residents and visitors to come and watch the games, if they did not want to participate.

We were joined by about a dozen residents all eager to learn how to play and after eating as much as possible of Frank’s fine cuisine we split into 2 groups.

The first group went onto the piste with JY and PB to be shown the basics of how to play and practice their techniques. The other group joined KT and BV inside to watch a video on the techniques used and various practice sessions to improve their game and discuss the basic rules and strategy when playing the game. The groups then swapped over to go through the process again.

That completed, a couple of games of triples which was organised between the residents, who by this time were keen to put into practice what they had learnt from the coaching sessions.

Members of the WPA with the Ruthin Organisers.

A game was then played between John-Yves and Kon versus Peter and Barbara to demonstrate the strategy and decision-making they could use during their matches

After several successful hours of talking and playing boule it was back to the hotel for an evening meal. We were joined by Anna, Dave, Chris, Steve and of course Frank to discuss the day’s events.

We all agreed that it was a fruitful day on both sides and it will be interesting to see how they progress.

Sunday 19th August.

On Sunday morning after a hearty breakfast it was off to the Groes Inn, Conway which was about a 45 minute drive from Ruthin.

The new terrain at Groes Inn near Conway, North Wales.

This historic inn is set in the beautiful North Wales countryside and has been welcoming visitors for over four centuries. We were welcomed by Justin the owner/landlord of the pub and shown the terrain he has installed in the car park, again constructed from local material (crushed slate), but a lot firmer than the terrain in Ruthin.

Justin’s aim is to provide the facility not only for his customers, but to establish a small league with other public houses in the area and to involve as many local people as possible. We were joined by about 16 people from junior to senior ages, all eager to learn how to play pétanque.

We divided into 4 groups with each group having a member of the WPA attached to each one. During the practice sessions the local press who took a multitude of photos for the local paper and were obviously keen to spread the word that pétanque is being played in North Wales joined us.

New petanque players at the Groes Inn in North Wales.

After the practice sessions a game was organised with everybody participating using the techniques that were demonstrated during the coaching sessions.

A spot of lunch and a glass of the local Groes ale and it was time to head home. We left to the sound of people discussing ordering boule and some talk on building pistes in their gardens.

 

A fantastic day was had by all. We then headed for home; down through the beautiful Welsh countryside with spectacular views all the way.

Kon Tomczyk
Vice President

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