Doncaster adds Pétanque to growing list of sports available to play locally
Posted: Thu, 06 Jul 2023 09:46
Doncaster is leading the way in the expansion of petanque (a type of French boules), with a new and fully accessible pétanque pitch having recently opened at Hexthorpe Flatts Park. The pitch – the only one in Doncaster, and South Yorkshire, is now available for all to enjoy.
In 2022, a group of local residents approached City of Doncaster Council and Get Doncaster Moving to enquire about whether there were any opportunities to play pétanque in Doncaster, as the group were regularly travelling outside of the borough to play the sport. That initial enquiry led to further investigation and conversations with those residents and Yorkshire Pétanque, to investigate the need and scale of the sport, and the potential for its growth and sustainability locally.
Fast forward to the present day, and Doncaster has a new pétanque facility (with space for four games to be played simultaneously) complete with accessible ramps for wheelchair access. Get Doncaster Moving have also worked closely with those local residents to support them to establish what is now Doncaster's (and South Yorkshire's) only Pétanque Club, which aims to raise the profile of - and grow - the sport in Doncaster.
Doncaster Pétanque Club offer free 'Introduction to Pétanque' sessions at Hexthorpe Park on Tuesdays (2pm-4pm) and Fridays (11am-1pm). Membership to Doncaster Pétanque Club is £10 for a year's membership and includes equipment hire. The pétanque pitch is also open for everyone to access free of charge and without the need to book or join the club (but people would have to bring their own equipment).
Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Hexthorpe and Balby North, Glyn Jones commented: "It is fantastic to see pétanque becoming established in Doncaster. Hexthorpe Park is one of Doncaster's award-winning Green Flag parks and benefits from a very active Friends of Group (Friends of Hexthorpe Park) who help care for the site. Pétanque is a great addition to the park – which already has much to offer visitors including various sports facilities including tennis and basketball, children's play parks and BMX track, and The Dell which is a beautifully scenic area to take a walk."
Councillor for Hexthorpe and Balby North, Sophie Liu added: "I'm pleased to see pétanque facilities up and running at Hexthorpe Park and I would encourage residents to take advantage of one of the drop in sessions the club are offering to have a go. It is a good way to keep active, try something different, meet new people and simply enjoy being outdoors."
Charles Stewart, President, Yorkshire Pétanque said: "Doncaster is leading the expansion of Pétanque in South Yorkshire. It is great to see the sport being made available to residents and we're pleased to welcome the newly established Doncaster Pétanque Club. We would like to congratulate all partners for their work together to make this happen and look forward to watching the sport grow in Doncaster."
Aileen Johns, Founder and Chairperson of Doncaster Pétanque Club, said: "I'm so pleased to see what started as an initial enquiry come to fruition and for Doncaster to now have its very own pétanque pitch. I'm very much looking forward to growing interest in the sport here in Doncaster and developing the Club to support new members enjoy the sport as much as we do. "