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It's one of Huddersfield’s newest sporting clubs.

But the taste of the Continent in Greenhead Park has been very much to the town’s liking.

The Hudderfield Petanque Club has nearly 60 members and has only been going six months.

But it has already notched up winning ways and triumphed recently against Kirklees’ rival petanque club based at Heckmondwike.

Petanque is French boules and the rules are similar to traditional bowls.

Instead of a jack there is a coche and instead of a carefully-tended green there is a gravel piste.

The Huddersfield club was formed after Kirklees Council was approached by Greenhead ward councillors who had seen the popularity of the French sport in Heckmondwike and wanted to provide a facility of their own.

Club chairman Paul Simpkins said: “The piste cost a few thousand pounds and it’s been here a year now. The club has been going six months and we have nearly 60 members, both men and women, of all ages.

“It’s been an organic process attracting members to the club.

“Clearly the piste is a busy spot and passed by people using the park, so we put a sign up on the gate inviting people to come on Sunday afternoons to have a go and it’s evolved from there.

“It’s great fun. All you need is a pair of trainers, we provide the boules. It doesn’t cost anything to play per game, we just charge £10 a year membership to cover public liability insurance.

“Now we have the piste it’s a fantastic facility and low maintenance with not having a green to look after.

“We can host tournaments and invite clubs to play, although we aren’t in a league yet.

 

“There are clubs in Halifax, Leeds, Harrogate and Wetherby.”

Hazel Morris, 65, of Lockwood said: “We were just walking through the park one Sunday and saw them playing and went over to have a look. I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s good exercise and a friendly group.

Pat Beazley, 63, added: “A lot of players have gone to a tournament at York today but its a good chance to practice. It’s harder than it looks but it is good fun and great to enjoy a sport outside.”

The aim of petanque is to finish as close as possible to the coche, knocking an opponent’s boules out of the way if necessary.

Paul added: “We recently beat our local rivals Heckmondwike who have been going three years which was really satisfying.

“The 36 players played 18 games of petanque over a whole afternoon and in the end Huddersfield won 10-8 after a thrilling last round.”

The club is open to all the family and anyone wanting to have a go can just turn up on Sundays from 1pm.

For more information go to http://huddersfieldpetanque.wordpress.com/gallery/