September 1, 2006

Petanque in Holland

The Dutch have a reputation for being well organized, even when it comes to having fun.
Here's an example of a club in Asten, a town with a population of 16,000 in the SE of the Netherlands.
The petanque club has splendid facilities: 34 outdoor courts (fully lit) , 18 indoor courts and - "noblesse oblige"- a cafeteria, used for all kinds of parties. 80 playing members seems few. But during winter it becomes a hub for several clubs in the area who do not (yet) have indoor facilities. That creates many friendships and those clubs return the favor by inviting the Asten club in the summer.

Every year, early July they convert the town's marketplace into a huge boulodrome for a weekend, for the general public to enjoy.
Of course, no street festival without a well stocked Bavaria beer truck!
They also have an excellent website, updated permanently, where I snatched these pictures.

The Dutch Petanque Federation has 240 member clubs, its own color magazine, and is growing fast. With close to 18,000 members they are now # 5, after France, Spain, Thailand and Algeria. By the way, in Holland the term "jeu de boules" is a lot more popular than "petanque".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news about the people of Holland's support of petanque. I only wish the United States would capture such a proportional interest.

18,000 petanque players... how big is the population of Holland? 12 million people?

That's compared with 280 million people in the United States, which should proportionally have about 270,000 petanque players, yet only has 1/270th of that!