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

Norman Dorling 1919-2013

Norman Dorling 1919-2013It is with deep sadness that we have to announce that Norman Dorling, much-esteemed and long-standing member of Penarth Pétanque Club, passed away peacefully at the age of 94, at the Waverley Care Home, Penarth on 5th August.

Norman was an honorary life member of both the Welsh Pétanque Association and the Penarth Pétanque Club, he will be greatly missed by all the members of Penarth Pétanque Club and the WPA.

Our thoughts are with his family at this time especially his daughter Sian.

A private funeral is to be held, but donations for Marie Curie Cancer Care, Penarth, c/o the Funeral Directors, 30 Hickman Road, Penarth, CF64 2AL.

Fred Stirland 1936-2013

It has been announced on the English Petanque Association’s website the very sad news that Fred Stirland, past President of the EPA, has died.

There is no further information at this time but the WPA, together with the EPA membership would also like to express our sincere condolences to his family.

Tom Murray 1945 – 2013

It is with deep regret that news has been received of the death, on 1st February, of Tom Murray of Creigiau Club. Tom represented Wales in competitions on many occasions, and will also be remembered for his great singing voice (having been a professional singer at one time) – he entertained many boule members on their trips abroad. His funeral takes place on Monday, February 18, at 9.30 am St. Peter’s Church, Roath, Cardiff; followed by a ceremony at Thornhill Crematorium.  The WPA would like to extend its condolences, on behalf of the Executive and all the Members, to Tom’s wife Joy and their immediate family and friends.




Wales give their all in European title quest

Tansy Mayfield, Julie Bailey and Gemma Foster represented Wales at the Ladies’ European Championships held in Ghent, Belgium.

At the same time Tony Smith, the Welsh Petanque Association executive member,  was elected to the European Confederation, the governing body of the sport in  Europe.

Mayfield represented Wales in the precision shooting where she scored 17  points.

In the pre-qualifying round for the European Championship, Wales was drawn  against Ireland, Jersey and the Czech Republic.

Their first game against Jersey saw the Welsh ladies work hard to win the  game 13-9.

Their second game produced Wales’ best result where they came back from 7-0  down to win 13-10 against the Czechs with a combination of positive play,  refusal to give up, and good team spirit.

The last game saw Wales lead Ireland all the way and on the final end they  were winning 11-8.

However, the luck of the Irish took over and Ireland scored five points to  take the game 13-11.

Wales’ final score, however, was enough to ensure that they went through as  the top team into the main competition – the only home nation to do so.

Unsurprisingly, the European Championship the next day was much harder work.  In the first round, despite good play, Wales were beaten soundly 13-3 by an  on-fire Poland who played a virtually faultless game.

This, on top of the Irish game, seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Welsh  team and they played their most patchy and loose game against Belgium losing  13-1.

However, they rounded it off by playing well against Turkey. Despite the 13-4  scoreline it was a long, well-played and aggressively-fought game and the score  didn’t do the game justice.

South Wales Echo, November 2012.

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