Look out Jack, petanque is here

A LITTLE bit of France has edged its way into Lennox Head in the form of a "village-friendly" sport called petanque.

For the uninitiated, petanque is a French version of bocce.

Players throw metal boules underarm to get as close as possible to a small ball, the jack.

Victoria O'Connor is the woman responsible for getting people in Lennox excited about the game.

"I lived in the south of France for four months last year and I played a lot of petanque," she said.

"When I came back to Lennox, many people said they also played when they visited France, so we thought we'd start up a game."

Ms O'Connor now has more than 50 people on her list and support from the Lennox Head Residents Association, the Chamber of Commerce and Alliance Francaise.

"It is very much a village game played by locals just for fun in friendly, social competitions," she said.

"We thought it would be great to be able to play it in our village as well, so we started playing very socially, on the unsuitable grass surface in Lions Park every Sunday afternoon. It has really taken off."

However, petanque was not intended to be played on grass - the ideal surface for the game is hard dirt or gravel.

The group will soon move to a new area, where Ballina Shire Council has agreed to add a simple crushed gravel surface, for all the villagers of Lennox Head to use.

Ms O'Connor said petanque was suitable for anyone.

"You can be young or old, or of any fitness level," she said.

"It's something that anyone can try.

"We think this is going to be a really great way to promote and encourage the village atmosphere at Lennox Head.

"It's also something that our tourists could get involved in."

If you are interested in playing petanque, just turn up at 4pm on Sundays at Lions Park, at the end of Rutherford St in Lennox Head.

To find out more about the game, phone Ms O'Connor on 66875112.

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