President hopes that petanque can be played at rugby ground

Melrose/Gala Petanque Club president Peter Harrington has been updating this newspaper on his attempts to find the homeless club a new base.

By Craig Goldthorp
Thursday, 9th July 2020, 3:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 3:06 pm
The game of petanque originated in France.
The game of petanque originated in France.

Melrose/Gala members had played petanque on the former tennis courts at Kingsknowes Hotel in Galashiels for five years, an arrangement ended recently by the tough business conditions, prompting an appeal through the Southern Reporter for folk to offer them a new venue.

“It was a good article and I was well pleased with the response,” Peter said.

“The very next day (after the appeal was published) we had a call from a committee member at Gala Rugby.

“Then the next day I had a call from Cameron Crawford, the builder, offering us three sites that he had.

“So I went out on the Wednesday, looked at all four of them and met up with Douglas Taylor at Gala Rugby and it looks good.

“He’s got to take it to the committee of course to get approval.

“We’d rather be associated with a sports club, so we’re hopeful, fingers crossed.”

Although the playing of rugby in Scotland remains barred for the foreseeable future, Peter stressed that – if approved – his group would in time be able to play petanque in “very controlled conditions”.

He added: “If the petanque venue is going to be anywhere within Gala Rugby it would be at the North End behind the goalposts.

“If we get the nod this week I will let the paper know.”

Petanque is a game you may have seen, or even played, on holiday abroad. Originating in Provence, France, it is a two- team game, similar to boules, where the aim is to toss or roll hollow steel balls as close as possible to the jack.

Last year, the club came top of the South of Scotland Pétanque League, while in 2018, it had the distinction of sending three members to play in Jersey as part of the Scottish team for the Home Nations competition.

Finding a playing area of approximately 12 metres by six metres would give Melrose/Gala Petanque Club the ability to continue to play league matches.