France

breaking news Pétanque: “It’s not just the Marseillais who are good! “

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Is pétanque a real sport?

Yes of course ! We play a lot of games in a day. You have to reckon with stress, physical condition. There are departmental, regional and national championships. This weekend, we start at 8 am in the morning and we risk ending around 10 pm in the evening. We want it to become an Olympic sport. It didn’t happen for 2024, so we hope for 2028. For us, it’s more of a sport than some who are at the Olympics. It’s sporty, after two days of pétanque, to go to work the next day, it’s hard. You have to have a good physical preparation and work at the same time, we are not professionals like some.

Do you need to drink Pastis and have a southern accent to play pétanque well?

Not while playing anyway, alcohol is prohibited! It is not only the Marseillais who are good, even in Brittany there are champions of France. In Morbihan, there are 33 clubs for 1,200 licensees and this is increasing every year. In Finistère, there are more than 6,000 licensees, we are also a land of pétanque now.

We want to show that Brittany is also capable of organizing French championships

Is it for the bored old people?

I started when I was 5, so I don’t think it’s just for old people. There are more and more young people: in Morbihan, they are 90, from 5 to 17 years old. There are also women, between 250 and 300 women in Morbihan. It is not yet enough, but it is already good.

Why a French championship in the land of Breton ball and puck?

Because we love our sport and we want to show that Brittany is also capable of organizing championships in France.

The Marseillais, kings of the discipline, tell it to themselves?

We will say a little! Some take us down, others take us seriously.

And if they played Breton ball, what would it be?

So there it is we who would take them down!

The magnet to pick up the balls, is it for dummies?

Oh no ! We use it especially when we have back pain, for those elderly who have trouble bending down.

It’s a friendly atmosphere but sometimes the games can be very tense, that’s also why it’s a sport

Can you really hurt yourself while playing pétanque?

It can happen without training and when you start shooting straight, you can hurt your arm or knee.

What is a good pétanque player?

A player who knows how to point and shoot. A person who never gives up, who always plays to win, you also have to know how to lose. Pétanque can be learned. In Lanester (56), we have a pétanque school for young people, we make them do lifts, points, and pulls. We should also do some for some seniors!

The third half in pétanque, what does it give?

It depends, it can be watered like fruit juice. It’s a friendly atmosphere but sometimes the games can be very tense, that’s also why it’s a sport.

75th French senior triplet pétanque championship at the Lanester exhibition center (56), from July 23 to 25. Competition begins on Saturday, July 24, at 8 a.m. Free admission. Compulsory health pass

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