Petanque NZ selected two teams of 6 players to represent NZ at the Oceania Championship in Vanuatu last week, plus a coach, a manager and four friends and family as support crew. This team of 18 faced some challenging times over the week and produced some amazing petanque under difficult circumstances. Some of the challenges faced included; players having to reorganise there flights after AirNZ stopped flying to Vanuatu with a considerable increase in cost to players; the uniform order was incorrect and had to be redone the week they left; uniforms were embroidered with Oceanic (not Oceania); 1 member was fogged in and missed his flight to Vanuatu, taking an extra 24 hours to get there; 13 of the team's luggage did not arrive for more than 2 days after they did; the organisation deciding to start the tournament a day earlier than planned; having to play with borrowed uniforms and borrowed boules; the death of one of the officials; tropical storms and flodding; overflowing portaloos; 7.00am starts and 2.00am finishes; 4 cases of red eye, 1 of severe diarrhoea; 2 of gastro symptoms and 1 cold; steaming hot temperatures and very high humidity...to name a few. Despite all that, there were lots of laughs and amazing people and our players played with passion and commitment and all should be proud of their involvement in this competition.
Recently the Board were asked for a ruling on the use of e-cigarettes at petanque tournaments. This generated some interesting discussion. As a result the Board feel the way forward is to keep our policy aligned with other agencies and treat e-cigarettes the same as other cigarettes. To this end we will amend our player code of conduct as follows.
National Coach John Grieg organised a training of the Auckland based members of the teams to represent NZ at the Oceania Championship at the demonstration terrain at Wynyard Quarter (photo) yesterday and then continued at Victoria Park (another very public site). Playing in public arenas provides a great opportunity to promote and enhance our sport. In the last 26 days at Wynyard Quarter the helpers have been overwhelmed by the number of persons genuinely interested in knowing more about the game of petanque and wanting to play. Check out regular updates on this process at the Petanque NZ Facebook site.