Petanque group offers cash to young players

Lockswood Indoor Petanque Academy in Locks Heath. Pictured is Tony Hewitt ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150947-14)
Lockswood Indoor Petanque Academy in Locks Heath. Pictured is Tony Hewitt ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150947-14)
From left, Terence Rierkert, Matt Chapman, Steve Kramer, Dan Deeks, Theresa Newstead, Simon Freeman and Josh Roux
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170948-1)

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IF YOU fancy taking up a new sport, then now’s your chance to get involved with an indoor petanque club as it launches a competition to find new players to boost its league.

The Lockswood Petanque Academy, which meets every Friday at the Lockswood Centre in Locks Heath, is not only on the hunt for new players, it is also offering £500 to a youth group that sets up and takes part in a three-month trial.

Should you be happy with “we’ve done it this way for 40 years” then this is not for you.

Club chairman Tony Hewitt

The academy is particularly keen to recruit young players, aged between 11 and 14, so that the sport – which is similar to boules but played indoors – can pass down through the generations.

It currently has a group called Challenge14, made up of players from Brookfield Community School, which it wants to expand.

Members of Challenge14 take part in 14 different challenges ranging across the fields of sport, education, and the community, but ultimately focused on learning to play indoor petanque.

Club chairman Tony Hewitt said: ‘Following a highly successful open morning we are pleased to announce a major development in our history.

‘The Challenge14 experience relies heavily on the upturn of the old and the innovation of the new in the brave new world of petanque.

‘Should you be happy with “we’ve done it this way for 40 years” then this is not for you.

‘We need adults and youngsters who are willing to look outside the box and to try new experiences even if they do not succeed.’

He said the academy would give funding to a single group of 20 11 to 14-year old boys or girls plus leaders to take part in a taster session for three months.

The project has benefited from a grant from Sport England, supported by Fareham Borough Council, Fareham Community Action, the QE2 centre and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation.

Mr Hewitt said: ‘As a result there’s no cost whatsoever to the group during this taster session.’

The academy will give the group with the best entry £500 to cover equipment, trainers, speakers fees, use of facilities, medals and T-shirts.

To find out more, call Mr Hewitt on 01489 576138 or email anthonyhewitt@talktalk.net