On Sunday 26th March, Petanque England coach Keith Flack met with Karen Mills at Totham Swan PC (Eastern Counties Region) to provide a crash course in training ahead of Karens trip to Perth, Australia, to take part in the forthcoming World Transplant Games.
Karen is admittedly in her own words a novice to the sport and although she has received some basic training prior to meeting with Keith had no game time experience, tactical play knowledge or exact information on rules and regulations.
As part of her trip Karen will be taking part in several events at the games including Javelin, 10 pin bowling (her signature sport) and singles in petanque.
After a refresher in the basics it was felt best to provide coaching in a real time singles game scenario, Karen was pitted against new club member “Roy” – himself a beginner – so the pair were equally matched and could learn together.
The game turned out to be an excellent training event with both players learning valuable tactics during the marathon game of singles which lasted the best part of 2 hours, however this was elongated with plenty of coaching between throws.
Karen raced out in a 6-0 lead but was pegged back and found herself 6-9 down once Roy found his feet. Even blows were traded and eventually the scores were tied at 12-12 so there was a real edge to proceedings.
The marathon game was finally decided by Karen’s 1st point, which Roy was unable to beat and the winners reward was a warm mug of tea provided by the gracious loser.
Like many people who find themselves in need of a transplant, Karen’s story is truly inspirational and she works tirelessly to fundraise for the Royal Papworth Hospital who carried out her double lung transplant as well as representing the hospital in many other sporting challenges against other hospital trusts.
Karen flies out to Perth 12/04/23, we wish her all the best for a competitive tournament on all fronts that she is representing the country in and look forward to hearing stories of success on many fronts.
You can find out more by visiting the World Transport Games website here: https://worldtransplantgames.org/