New playing field for Port Douglas' lovers of pétanque


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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John Burden, Mayor Julia Leu, and Phil Hickey celebrate the new pétanque playing area with the Port Douglas pétanque group. Image: Victoria Stone-Meadows.

Port Douglas is now home to a brand new pétanque court, also called a 'piste' or ‘terrain’, for lovers of the French game to come together to play and socialise.

Pétanque is a sport that falls into the category of boules sports, along with raffa, bocce, boule lyonnaise, lawn bowls.

The new playing area has been constructed adjacent to the community hall on the same side as the Port Douglas Sporting Complex.

The new playing court is made from a sub-base of gravel for drainage and topped with decomposed granite for the playing surface and bounded using recycled plastic edging.

Pétanque Port Douglas organiser John Burden said the new playing area will allow for more frequent games and for more people in the region to learn about the game. 

“We approached Council a few years ago to see about funding for the piste as up until now we have played in the park gravel paths, which is exactly what we needed,” he said.

“However, we only played for two or three hours on a Wednesday afternoon but now other people can use this and we can use it more often.

“We will also be going to aged care facilities to see if people want to play as well as the year 11 and 12 groups at Mossman high.”

Phil Hickey, who is also involved in Port Douglas Pétanque, said he was amazed by how quickly the piste was built once Council secured funding.

“The contractors do not have slow men at work signs in their trucks,” he said.

He also said he is looking forward to spreading the word about Pétanque in the Douglas Shire and introducing more people to the game. 

“This is a public space, for use by the public; it is not something we own but will use,” he said.

“We want to reach out to the community and reach out to schools and would like to see some schools children participating as an extracurricular thing, not everyone can be champion, ruby player, swimmer, netballer etc.

“However, there might be a champion Pétanque player in one of the local schools.”

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the court will be a wonderful community asset.

“The new court gives the group a greater capacity to host tournaments and bring more people into Port Douglas,” she said.

“We want to build up our local sporting clubs, who play such an important role in bringing people together in our community.”

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