Novice players from the newlyformed Heckmondwike Petanque Club will be pitting their skills against some of the county's top players tomorrow (Sat).
The Firth Parkbased club is hosting its first regional competition with 16 pairs competing for the inaugural Heckmondwike Pairs Trophy.
Despite being only a few months old, the club has grown quickly and now has around 25 registered members, playing regularly on the new pistes at the refurbished Firth Park every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning.
Petanque is played with steel boules weighing about 700 grams each on a rough gravel surface. Players throw the boules towards a jack and try to place their boules nearest or dislodge their opponents by knocking them out of play.
It’s similar to crown green bowls but played over a shorter distance and with steel boules rather than wooden bowls.
The social game is played by young and old alike, traditionally in dusty village squares in France and Spain.
Saturday’s pairs competition starts at 10am with five rounds of action and spectators are welcome. Tea and coffee will be available.
New members are welcome to try the family sport at any of the Wednesday (1pm) or Saturday (10am) sessions. Equipment and coaching is available free of charge.
At the club’s initial AGM last week membership was fixed at £5 per year, and £2 for juniors.
Club chairman Paul Simpkins paid tribute to the support given to the club by Kirklees Council and said efforts would be made to involve groups of people such as schools, elderly, scouts/guides and handicapped groups, etc, in enjoying the sport and the Firth Park facilities.
The club will be taking part in the Firth Park Open Day on May 26, when visitors can have a go at the sport.
A further boost was given to the profile of the sport in the area with news other clubs are being formed in Mirfield and Honley as well as further afield at Harrogate.
At the moment the sport in Yorkshire is concentrated round the York area, although there are clubs in Leeds at Wetherby.
Discover more about the club at www.heckmondwikepc.co.uk.