Australian Masters Games

From Provence to Canberra to Adelaide: the game down under brings in gold, silver and bronze

by Nicole Wedding - 9 October 2015

From Provence to Canberra to Adelaide: the game down under brings in gold, silver and bronze

Pétanque participant Jean Lambert from Weston, ACT wants her passion for the game to catch on in Australia.

“Most people don’t know about pétanque - they’ll say bocce. So we are trying to put it out there,” Jean says.

“I see it as a wonderful game for seniors. For people who have retired and don’t know what to do, it gets them out and helps them socialise. It’s also a good, gentle activity.

You can play it as a social event, which I love or get a bit more serious as well.”

As vice-president of Capital Pétanque Canberra, she champions a club that has seen a large increase in female players over the years.

“We’re the only group in Canberra. The club was started in 2009 by six enthusiasts,” she says.

“Since then it really has been coming on well - it’s grown to 30. We’re very pleased, because it’s attracted a lot of women who see it as a great way to socialise, have fun and exercise.”

The group, which used to play at a children’s basketball court in Yarralumla, sought a grant from the Australian Capital Territory government for a public boulodrome. They were successful.

“It’s a public gravel area, so it will encourage all Canberrans to hopefully play pétanque,” Jean says.

“It’s in a wonderful location, on a park close to Lake Burley Griffin. So it’s a beautiful, beautiful place to play.”

Jean’s initial interest in the game was sparked on a trip to France.

“I think that’s the same with a number of players - they see it played overseas,” she says.

“Before that, I’d never considered myself as being terribly interested in sport.”

Eleven Canberrans have made the journey to Adelaide to participate in the Masters Games with Jean Lambert, playing at Prospect Pétanque Club in Nailsworth.

“We’ve enjoyed ourselves so much,” Jean says.

“We came here with very modest expectations, intent on having fun, but the club has so far got a Gold, and a silver, and a bronze. So we’re very, very pleased. We’re enjoying ourselves - so we’ll be back.”

This year’s Australian Masters Games sees more than 10,000 people participating in 49 sports, and is regarded as one of the premier and largest mass-participation events on the Australian sporting landscape.

The 15th Australian Masters Games are being held in Adelaide, October 3-10.

The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission
through Events South Australia. 

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