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Achievements

Inter-Regional Championship, Brean Sands, 7-8 September 2002

The Annual Inter-Regional Pétanque Championship was held at the Pontin’s Brean Sands holiday centre in Somerset over the weekend of 7-8 September 2002.  

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Brean's amusements, terrain, and competition control

Fifteen UK “regions”, from as far afield as Cornwall, Wales, Northern, Anglia, South-Eastern and Isle of Wight each sent squads of 9 teams (8 adult and one junior team each) for the main competition, which was split into two divisions, each of 8 regions. The second division was made up to 8 squads by the inclusion of a “BPA Select” squad formed from players from the leading three regions in last year’s competition. Each team consisted of three players plus one optional reserve if the team required. This year, a new secondary competition – the “Pontin’s Brean Sands Challenge” - was inaugurated for which 14 of the regions each sent squads of 4 teams of 3 players. In total, therefore, Pontin’s was invaded by around 700 pétanque players from many parts of the UK, plus nearly 300 officials, organisers, supporters and family members.

Each team played its equivalent from each other region in all three sections of the competitions, and in Divisions 1 and 2 of the main competition each team also played another team from five other regions – so in all, every team played 12 or 13 matches over the two days. Since each game lasts for up to 1¼ hours and on average involves walking over 500 metres and throwing a total of around 15Kg of metal boules for distances of up to 10 metres, there were some fairly tired players at the end of the second day!

Winners of Division 1 of the main competition this year were the South-East region, who were also winners of the inaugural “Brean Sands Challenge” and provided four of the 8 adult teams for the “BPA Select” squad – a fine regional performance! Runners-up in the main competition were East Midlands, with our own Southern Region 3rd, as last year, and these two regions provided two adult teams each to the “BPA Select” squad, with the Southern Region also providing the Junior team for this squad. Division 2 of the main competition was won by the Northern region with Wales in second place, and these will be promoted to Division 1 for next year’s competition, replacing Anglia and West Midlands regions, which were 7th and 8th respectively in Division 1. Isle of Wight were runners-up in the “Brean Sands Challenge” and also provided the Best Junior team in Division 1, and these youngsters (also the national Junior Champions for this year) will be going on to represent England in the forthcoming Home Nations Championships at Morecambe Bay on 14/15 September.

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Northern & Welsh regions celebrating promotion from Div.2

Gianni’s team, including Jed Stone and Mark Robertshaw from the Limesdowne club, achieved the highest number of wins (9 from 12 games) by a Southern Region Division 1 team.

Graham was in the "BPA Select" junior team (managed by Peter) which won 7 of their 12 games, and Bernie and Richard, along with Jackie Lee of Limesdowne, formed one of the adult "BPA Select" teams and won 6 of their 12.

Hilary ensured that five of the local players were fed and watered and had somewhere to sleep, and also helped with the competition organisation, checking the validity of all players' licences.

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Tired? Who ME?....Graham's team & manager....Gianni's team....nearly all of SCPC's presence + Jackie Lee (Limesdowne)

5 players from the other Southampton-based club, Wanderers, were in the Southern Region squads, with Jason Willcocks (junior) and Vanessa Webb, Chris Allen, Terry Webb and Martyn Cheriton (adults) the region’s main Division 1 squad. Other local players from Cobbetts club (Burridge), Limesdowne (Catisfield) and Shedfield were in the squads, together with players from clubs around the region in Basingstoke, Bordon, Crondall, Poole, Portsmouth, Worthing and Yapton.

These teams were selected to the squads on the basis of three regional qualifying competitions held earlier in the season, initially involving over 70 players. Detailed results of these competitions, and of clubs and contacts, and of the flourishing local leagues and weekend competitions in the Southern Region, can be found on the region’s website at www.bpasouth.org.uk. The full results of the Inter-Regional competition are shown on the national British Pétanque Association’s website at www.britishpetanque.org/.  

A film unit from Sky recorded some of the play plus an interview with Vanessa Webb (Wanderers), who has represented the country on a number of occasions at the World Championships and other international events. The programme will be screened later in the autumn.

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