August 28, 2006

Petanque for all ages

Some time ago I mentioned how in our village in Provence the kids of the elementary school get together with the folks of the retirement home - "la maison de retraite" - for a boules tournament.

No fancy setup: the walkways around the home work just fine.

The older generation is always eager to share tips and tell the young ones why they're going to point or shoot.

Although score is kept, it's almost irrelevant. The main purpose is to have a fun morning, to mix 10-year olds with 80-year olds in an activity where everyone is on equal footing. In good provençal tradition, all the teams had lunch together, another opportunity for swapping stories!

Needless to say, it helps that the school is walking distance from the retirement home, that some of the residents of the home still have their own rusted, dented boules from days gone by, and that everyone knows the game, but still - I think it's a brilliant concept that can be duplicated in other countries.

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