COVID UPDATE

I imagine most of our members are aware that yesterday’s session was the last for a month due to our COVID 19 lockdown. The lock down is currently planned to end Wednesday 2nd December but I’m certain the final end point will be confirmed as the success or otherwise is determined nearer that date.

Petanque England (PE) has now clarified its guidance. This can be viewed on the Petanque England website but the essence is that all club sessions and competitions must cease. We revert to following government guidelines which is that we can exercise and meet one other person not from our household in public places such as parks. Of course we can exercise with members of our own household.

As our terrains are in a public park they are free and available for anyone who wants to meet for a game of singles. While the club and pavilion remains closed anyone taking advantage of this freedom should still abide by our guidance for self distancing, not touching anyone else’s boules, coche etc and use sanitiser gel and if necessary wear face masks.

CLUB XMAS RAFFLE

As we announced our Christmas Raffle only last week on our blog and yesterday’s final session was the first meeting of members since then it is absolutely wonderful to announce that our brilliant, warm hearted and generous members have already raised £270 to help the charity, Rainbow Baby Bank. They will use our money to buy Christmas presents for youngsters identified by social care, midwives and our local council who otherwise might not get any presents. Thank you to Carol McC for suggesting this worthwhile cause and charity. Numerous Raffle prizes have been donated so far as well as donations and purchase of raffle tickets. The tickets are still on sale so please let me know if you would like some. Thank you all so much. You are an amazing group of members.

XMAS PETANQUE TEAM EVENT

To show a little more optimism for the end of lockdown being as planned we still plan to run our Team Event when we resume playing. I will confirm details and date a little nearer the time but it’s likely to be held either Saturday 5th or 12th December. If you’re not sure whether your name is on my list of entrants you can text me on 07594 371626 to be sure. We have around 38 members on the list at the moment.

It will be teams of three players playing four timed rounds of 40 minutes per game. Each member will play a game of triples, two games of pairs and a game of singles.

On that day we will draw the Xmas Raffle and present Club Championship trophies. Bring your lunch with you and try to remember your festive jumpers etc.

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

The difficult past three months has not been the ideal period of time to hold our five CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP events but members that entered have done a brilliant job of arranging and playing matches. in total 86 matches were involved and at present there are just seven left to play. Five are in the GENTS PAIRS, one in the TRIPLES and one in the OPEN PAIRS. Whilst these will now have to wait until December to complete it is now possible to confirm the final outcome as far as competition Champions. There may be a prominent reason why the gents didn’t get finished. It’s probably the same reason that there still a few shelves to be put up and a few rooms to be decorated. There may have to be a lady secretary appointed for this event next year. The Gents Pairs and the MIXED PAIRS were the most popular events with 8 teams entered in each.

The LADIES PAIRS did have just 5 teams but did get completed a couple of weeks ago. Thus it was no surprise that the CHAMPIONS were unable to restrain themselves and wait for the Xmas presentations. Nevertheless, worthy CHAMPIONS are Bev Whittington and Pauline Fenton, who won all of their four matches. They also celebrated yesterday with a COVID safe photo holding their trophy.

As we’ve jumped the gun for announcing the results I will announce the rest here. The outstanding games will determine final podium positions.

The GENTS CHAMPIONS are Roger Farrar and myself. We still have one match to play but can’t be overtaken now. We have won all of our six matches so far.

The MIXED PAIRS CHAMPIONS are Kath Westley (that’s my lovely wife) and myself. We won all of our seven matches.

The OPEN PAIRS CHAMPIONS are Kath Westley (still my lovely wife) and myself. We won each of our four matches

The TRIPLES CHAMPIONS are Kath Westley, Gordon Walsworth (no relation) and myself. We won all of our four matches.

I would like to express my sincere thanks and admiration for each of my brilliant partners Roger, Gordon and, of course, Kath.

It’s been sad that each of the competitions suffered from a team or two having to withdraw partway through. I hope in 2021 we can run these competitions in a more leisurely fashion allowing everyone that’s interested the chance to compete. Everyone that has played has done so with a brilliantly sporting attitude making all of the matches a pleasure to play in. I am certain that the standard of play in our club has risen and next years competitions are going to be really great to be part of. Thankyou to everyone and hope you enjoyed your matches.

The match results for each competition plus the current table positions can be seen on the RESULTS PAGE of this blog. They will be updated and finalised once all matches have been played.

LOCKDOWN TRUMPS TIER 3

I suppose it was inevitable but from this coming Thursday we will be going back into a lockdown meaning that this coming Wednesday will be our last club session until hopefully December. It will be acceptable for a single member from one household to meet a single member from a different household to play a game in the park. If you do decide to take advantage of this please remember to follow our usual social distancing rules and use antibacterial gel, only touch your own boules and coche etc.

Sadly it’s a situation that was always on the cards. Maybe it’s just my opinion that we’re in a country where too many folk seem to think they have rights and freedoms but sadly no sense of responsibility or discipline to follow rules and guidance. Don’t wind me up or I’ll be here all night.

As far as club sessions are concerned we have to wait and see how we progress through November and hope December brings an improvement. I’m not holding my breath.

The club Championship events are almost complete with just the Gents Pairs awaiting a team to claim the title. There are a handful of games to be played and it would be good if we could have a good try at getting the key ones played by Wednesday evening. If not we will just wait until early December to play the outstanding matches.

We may have to re-confirm the precise date for holding our December Team event and the draw for our Xmas Raffle. Anyone having a raffle prize to donate it will help if you just bring it on the day or I’ll be happy to call round and collect it. If anyone wants to purchase raffle ticket(s) you can do that on Wednesday at the terrain or text either myself on 07594 371626 or Kath on 07887 386017 and we will give you the club bank account details to pay in and we will let you what your raffle ticket numbers are.

I know several of you have not yet been able to come to play at club for quite a few months now and sadly it will be another month to get through.There are some who are far from their fittest and we wish you all good health and a speedy return to playing with us again, hopefully in December. Please take care and we look forward to meeting up again soon. I will try to update you all as soon as any developments arise.

XMAS IS COMING

No doubt many of you will, by now, be aware of the news that West Yorkshire has moved into Tier 3 Covid Control measures. There’s good news and bad news associated with this news.

Firstly, Petanque England guidance confirms that this doesn’t have any impact on our freedom to play petanque providing we abide by our risk assessment guidance for sanitising, social distancing, not touching anyone’s boules, coche, measuring tape etc. It is specially important that we do our very best to maintain our high standards of compliance with the control measures. We are a large group, playing in a very open public space and there is every chance that passers by might be tempted to report any non-compliance they see. Lets not give them the opportunity.

The not so good news is that we’ve decided to cancel this year’s Christmas lunch at Cleckheaton Golf Club. We would never have been able to maintain safe social distancing at this venue.

However, we are determined to try to have a bright and cheerful Christmas end to 2020 out on the petanque terrain.

On the first Saturday in December we are going to stage our Team competition. I’m still planning the exact format but it will involve four games timed at 40 minutes each and we will play triples, pairs and singles. Hopefully a good fun competition. If the weather is not kind to us we will move it on to a week later. Make sure your name is on the list on our noticeboard if you are going to play in this event.

Members are advised to bring their lunch and drinks with them as we are not allowed to prepare food etc. Of course Christmas jumpers are very much encouraged

Importantly, even though we’ve had to cancel our Christmas lunch we want to do our Christmas Raffle. We hope members will do their best to help us achieve our aims this year. We have decided to donate proceeds from the raffle to a local charity, Heckmondwike Rainbow Baby Bank, to help them in their quest to buy Christmas presents for children whose Christmas looks pretty bleak. The children supported by this charity group are nominated by social workers, midwives and Council care services so I’m sure they will be deserving cases.

We will do the raffle draw at the Team Competition Saturday. To achieve our aims it would be brilliant if our members would do as they’ve done every Christmas and donate a raffle prize. If you could wrap it and bring it to one of our petanque sessions in the coming weeks that would be great. Raffle tickets will be on sale quite soon at £1 a ticket. Our cause is a very worthy one and we can help make Christmas for a lot of less fortunate local youngsters.

You will note that having our raffle in December is a bit close to Christmas for the Baby Bank to buy presents for the children. Accordingly, as we are so confident our members will do their usual best to support such a worthy cause we will be donating our hoped for raffle proceeds to the Charity early so that they can do their buying of presents in good time.

Finally, just to remind members that our annual subscriptions will become due on January 1st and will remain at £20 as approved at our AGM.

JUST A COVID REMINDER

Just want to remind members about our COVID 19 control measures as it was noted recently that as a group we do have a tendency to congregate around the gate entrance to our terrain while awaiting and conducting the draw for playing groups.

Members are already aware that if they have any of the symptoms of COVID 19 they shouldn’t be attending petanque but it is always possible that someone may be asymptomatic.

Anyone feeling a little vulnerable is recommended to wear a mask or face covering as an extra safety measure but the important issue is that we shouldn’t be closer than at least 1 metre and ideally 2 metres to one another while outdoors.. It is noted that the risk is higher if we are close to someone for around 10-15 minutes and that doesn’t seem to be the case generally.

So far we have been successful in keeping our members free from this horrible bug and it is hopeful we can continue to do this and enjoy our petanque at the same time.

Thankyou for your understanding.

LATEST COVID 19 UPDATE

Following the government’s introduction of a Tiered structure for Covid 19 control measures Petanque England have issued further guidance on what this means for our club and others who are in the “organised Sport” category.

The good news is that we are able to continue playing exactly as we have been providing we maintain our current control measures. The extra good news is that even if West Yorkshire gets moved from Tier 2 into Tier 3 unless there are changes we will still be able to play.

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For those that are looking for some competitive competition during 2021, and providing Covid 19 allows, Petanque England have issued their preliminary playing calendar. It can be viewed on our noticeboard or on the Petanque England website. If you are interested then the first thing to consider is joining PE in January. This will allow you to enter the Northern Qualifiers with the possibility of representing Northern at the National Inter Regional competition in September. This is a massive event that goes on for two days and has almost 1000 petanque players from around the country. Several of our members have taken part and its a great event to play in. Alternatively there are the National Home Nations Qualifiers where you get selected to play for England in the Home Nations to be hosted by Scotland this year. If you’re feeling overawed by the thought then don’t be. It should be noted that last year there were players from Mercian Region who we had beaten in the Euro Cup playing for the England Team. Good Players, of course, but not unbeatable. You may fancy entering the Northern Regional pairs, triples or singles championships leading to the national Champion of Champions competition.

If you’re interested and want more info talk to me at petanque.

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Our Championship Competitions are drawing some close and exciting conclusions.

The Ladies Pairs has just been completed this week and we have new Champions who will receive their trophy at the upcoming presentation. However, our Champions can start celebrating. Very well done to Bev Whittington and Pauline Fenton. An excellent performance.

There are still four potential champion teams in the Gents Pairs with just a handful of matches to be completed.

The Mixed Pairs, the Open Pairs and the Triples each have a couple of games to complete. Champions should be crowned in a couple of weeks.

A HARDY FEW DEFEAT THE WEATHER AGAIN

Yes the weatherman predicted lots of rain and yes we’ve had some. But it didn’t arrive until four of our positive thinking members had enjoyed three excellent games today. Well done and thank you to Ian F and Kevin W for three enjoyable games with Kath and myself.

QR CODE

Just to let everyone know that we now have a QR code at club. I don’t think its obligatory for our club but for those members who have downloaded the NHS Covid 19 app they will be able to hone their technology skills by signing in with their mobile phone and the NHS app. We will, of course, still maintain, our quill and manuscript record of all attendees so technophobes need not panic.

TEAM EVENT PLANNING

Just to remind everyone that I am thinking of organising a members team event. The idea is that we stage it early December on the day we usually wear Xmas dress and if it works ok, follow it with our Presentation of Championship Awards.

My idea is that I will do a rough seeding of ladies and gents and then draw from each group to hopefully produce a number of roughly equally talented teams. The format would be three or four games where everyone would play triples, pairs and singles games. No prize money, nor even trophies, but hopefully a fun way to warm up for Xmas. Before I can plan any further I need names of players happy to play on my list. The list is on the table in club house each social play day or you can drop me a text to let me know. I already have a number of names but obviously would prefer to involve everyone who is playing.

YET ANOTHER COVID UPDATE PLUS NEW KIT.

As our Prime Minister announced further control measures to try to slow down the transmission of Covid on Tuesday evening we have received confirmation from Petanque England that there are no alterations to our current control measures.

Our risk assessment, sanitisation materials and procedures and our safe distancing procedures while at the club need to be maintained.

Thank you to all of our members who are abiding by our controls and ensuring we can still play our sport.

KIT AVAILABLE.

We are pleased to confirm that we have an updated kit list and are now ready to compile an order. There are a couple of exciting additions to our list including a lovely Soft shell sleeved front and back quilted jacket (Oakham Jacket) and a fully waterproof, light weight jacket (Airton jacket). We have samples to look at and they are available in Navy or Black.

The Hoodie fleeces in Light blue and Navy also come as a full zip hoodie top.

There is a light weight fleece jumper with half zip or the full zip jacket version.

Some of you will have seen members wearing the Soft shell Gilets. These are also available as a fully sleeved jacket and also a hooded jacket. The Soft shell finish is very warm and light weight and easy to play petanque in.

Our Sky Blue Polo shirt is also available for the immediate future.

We are still awaiting a sample of a good quality cap that can be embroidered with our logo and is colour stable.

There is a possibility of a warm knitted pom pom hat in club colours with our club name included. There would be a minimum order requirement for making these so we need to assess interest level first.

Samples and price list are available via contacting Kath or myself and will be at our club to see on each social play days.

PETANQUE PLAY

On the playing front you have all done extremely well at playing matches in our club championships. Please keep it up.

There is still one game to be played in the Ladies Pairs but in the penultimate match of a very close and competitive competition the decisive result emerged. We now have our champions to be announced formally at our presentation.

The Gents, Mixed and Open Pairs events and the Triples have more teams entered so they have a little further to go before we see potential champions emerging.

I’m looking at organising a team event for all members to play in that will include some singles play, pairs play and triples play. I will display a list for members to enter their interest and then I will look at how we form the teams. Get your name on the list or let me know of your interest and I’ll put you on it. Could be a fun way to do our presentation day or just to sign off for Xmas.

WEATHER TO PLAY OR NOT.

To all those who didn’t turn up today thinking Covid might have stopped play you know you can be there on Saturday.

To those who looked at the weather predictions – WHEN WILL YOU EVER LEARN. There is a lot of fully computerised “guesswork” at the MET OFFICE and I promise you my grandmother was a million times more accurate in forecasting the weather than the small army of self-appointed experts with their pretty graphics in shows better funded than Sunday Night at the Palladium.

A big thank you to Gordon and Ian who joined Kath and I for three really enjoyable games to complete one of our Open Pairs matches. Well done also to Colin and Trevor who also managed some play.

SOME SAD NEWS

Many of our members will remember Frank and Sheila Dixon who have been members for a few years although they have usually spent several months of the year away in Spain.

We recently received the very sad news from Sheila that Frank passed away in July after a period of illness.

It is hoped that Sheila will soon feel up to re-joining us for a game and it will be good to see her back with us. I know you will all make her feel welcome when she returns to playing again.

UPDATE ON COVID CONTROL MEASURES FROM 22nd SEPTEMBER

By now you may well be aware that control measures for Covid 19 are tightening in Kirklees from Tuesday 22nd September

Information taken from the Kirklees Website explaining these measures clearly indicates that playing “organised outdoor sport” that has suitable control measures in place may continue as normal after the 22nd September.

We have our Covid 19 Risk assessment, appropriate controls such as sanitising materials and procedures, safe distancing procedures and track and trace records, maximum of 30 people etc that seem to be working effectively so far.

I will remind all members that if you feel you are experiencing any of the significant symptoms of Covid 19 please do not attend to play.

Our normal club play days of Wednesday 1pm start and Saturdays 10am start will continue until further notification.

HECKMONDWIKE PETANQUE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Just to bring all of our members up to date following the government’s strengthening of COVID 19 control measures.

Petanque England has had discussions with the powers that be and has now confirmed that we are recognised as an “organised sport”. Accordingly we can continue to hold our Wednesday and Saturday  organised and controlled club days. The requirements for this are that essentially we have completed a full COVID risk assessment and have made our sessions fully controlled to minimise the risks of our members picking up and transferring the COVID virus.

The essentials of our control measures include:

First and foremost there must be no member turning up to play who is displaying any of the well documented symptoms of COVID 19. Anyone suspected or seeming to display typical symptoms will be asked to go home, self isolate and phone NHS111 to get tested. Any member who has COVID 19 confirmed and has played at our club recently must inform myself so that appropriate track and trace procedures can be put into motion.

All members must only enter the clubhouse to use the toilets and should wait outside until the toilet is available. Sanitising wipes and alcohol based hand gels are available for use both before and following use of the toilet.

Upon opening the club house our committee members will use sanitising wipes and sprays to clean all door handles, toilet flush handles, taps, a table to take outside and any other surface likely to be touched by members.

During this period the club will not be providing drinks or biscuits so please bring your own food and drink.

The secretary will record the names and contact details of all members attending and the total number will be limited to 30 maximum. This list will be made available to Track & Trace officers if required.

Playing will be controlled by members being grouped into bubbles of 4 or 6. The bubble groups will stay unchanged throughout the session. It is recommended that pairs are shuffled after each of the usual 3 games so that everyone plays with everyone else within their bubble of four. Any drawing of numbers will be done by one committee member with no-one else needing to touch numbered discs.

Any member needing to take a chair outside for use both during and before games must use a sanitising wipe to clean the chair before taking it outside and must ensure other members do not use it or touch it.

All players must only handle their own coche and boules and each pair in a bubble must have their own coche for use when they are to start an end. If accidental handling of other players boules or coche occurs, players must wipe clean the touched boule or coche with sanitising wipes and both the owner of the boule/coche and the player who touched it must use sanitising hand gel or soap and water to cleanse hands promptly.

Each bubble must play on a piste where there is an empty piste/footpath each side of the play piste. It’s ok to change pistes during the session but remember to keep the safe empty non-play pistes.

If no-one in a bubble is fit enough to bend and draw circles then use of a foot to create an arc will suffice. Plastic circles and scoreboards should not be used.

There will be a table outside the clubhouse with a large container of sanitising hand gel for members to use before and after playing and during play if required.

Whilst the wearing of masks is not an essential requirement members are very welcome to play wearing their mask, particularly if they are prone to sneezes etc.

Members involved in competing in the club championship events are welcome to play their matches on club days as bubbles will be automatically formed for the session. The terrains are based in a public park and as such are freely available to be used for matches or practise on every other day of the week. The clubhouse would not be open on non-club days but members are strongly advised to follow the same control measures noted above when playing matches.

Remember that any member NOT following the Petanque England guidelines above will lose the security of our Insurance cover should they become ill or have an accident. Our club General Risk assessment and safety guidance notes are also on the club noticeboard for your benefit.

If anyone needs further guidance then please contact myself or check the COVID 19 Risk Assessment and General Risk Assessment pinned to our noticeboard. It is also in the PAPERWORK section of this blog.

Thankyou to everyone for your support and hope you are still enjoying your petanque.