InternationalMatch reportresultsStoryYouthJuniors compete in Valence invitational tournament

28th June 2024

It’s fair to say our young players faced quite a challenge in Valence, but what an incredible learning experience it was for everyone involved!

The caliber of the top teams – France, Germany, and Switzerland – was truly impressive. Their skill level gives us a clear picture of what we need to strive for if we’re to match them in the future. The pistes were demanding, constantly reminding us of the crucial importance of the ‘landing spot’. But don’t let that fool you – the overall experience was overwhelmingly positive. Our kids and coaches alike came away with a wealth of knowledge. We’ll be much better prepared next time, ready to take on the challenge with renewed vigor!

Day one kicked off with our boys squaring up against France 1,

while our girls took on Switzerland.

Though we didn’t get off to the flying start we’d hoped for, with both teams falling 2-13 in the first round, it was early days yet. Our young players were just warming up!

The second round saw our boys face Switzerland,

while our girls went up against a mixed team of France and Switzerland.

Our boys put up a valiant fight but lost 13-7, and our girls, despite their best efforts, were defeated 13-1. But did that dampen their spirits? Not a chance!

The third round brought a fantastic turnaround for our girls. They showed true grit and determination, clinching a brilliant 13-11 victory against an official French side. What a moment that was! Unfortunately, our boys faced another setback, but they kept their chins up and pressed on.

Round 4 was where things really started to look up. Our boys secured their first win, and what a win it was! They trounced Valonselles from France 13-2 in a stellar all-round performance. Meanwhile, our girls faced a tough German team and, despite giving it their all, couldn’t quite clinch the win.

But they weren’t done yet! In a nail-biting extra time finish, our girls claimed third place in the plate competition with a hard-fought victory over the Swiss. What a comeback!

Our boys, riding high on their earlier success, made it to the final of the plate competition. Though they fell to a very strong France 2 team, they should be immensely proud of how far they came.

The day wasn’t over yet! In the novel pointing and shooting competition, both Alex M and Amy G put on impressive displays.

They battled their way through to face the eventual winners, coming tantalizingly close to victory themselves. All in all, it was a thoroughly satisfactory day. Our kids played their hearts out and, more importantly, learnt a tremendous amount.

But if we thought day one was exciting, day two was simply mind-blowing! Picture this: one hundred and ten Triples teams, ranging from ‘Benjamins’ (5-7 year-olds) all the way up to 17-year-old juniors, and every age in between. The atmosphere was electric! Each and every youngster had their own dedicated team of supporters cheering them on. They all looked the part too, kitted out in full matching outfits – shirts, shorts, track tops, waterproofs – you name it!

What really took our breath away was the exceptional standard of play. You should have seen these 5 and 6-year-olds! Perfect stance in the circle, proper grip on the boule, backswing right up to shoulder height, straight swing, clean release, and follow-through – it was a sight to behold! No wonder by the time they hit their teens, they’re playing at such an incredibly high level. It certainly gave our players something to aspire to!

Sunday was nothing short of a festival celebrating junior petanque. The air was filled with the cheers and applause of hundreds of supporters, all there to encourage their little champions. The catering was top-notch, the atmosphere was absolutely wonderful, and the organisation was impeccable. It was truly humbling to witness.

Our players have returned home brimming with enthusiasm and a burning desire to improve. They’ve seen first-hand what they need to achieve, and they’re more motivated than ever. Yes, there’s work to be done – both for the players and their coaches – but with the right drive and ambition, there’s no doubt they can make it.

This trip has been an eye-opener, showing us the incredible standards we’re aiming for. But more than that, it’s lit a fire in our young players. They’ve tasted international competition, they’ve seen what’s possible, and now they’re hungry for more. With continued practice, dedication, and the unwavering support of their coaches and families, who knows where they might end up?

The future of British petanque is looking brighter than ever. These young players are our rising stars, and with experiences like this under their belts, the sky’s the limit. So here’s to our young team – they may have faced some tough challenges in Valence, but they’ve come back stronger, wiser, and more determined than ever. Watch this space – great things are coming!

Thank you to all our volunteers and coaches who made this weekend possible and remember to keep up with all that is going on with the juniors follow us on Facebook: @PEJuniors and for all upcoming events checkout the juniors webpage here: Juniors (

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