...about the Artistes
The Boules Artistes Petanque Club was originally formed in 1996 in the grounds of the Hyde Park Barracks, one of Sydney's most historic buildings. With good exposure and an article in the SMH we soon gained a regular crowd on a Sunday afternoon. We then helped organize the South Pacific Challenge, which drew over 200 people, many of them playing their first tournament, but unfortunately the Barracks management decided petanque was not suitable for the area as it was getting too popular!
Without a home ground the Artistes went dormant for a while but reformed in 2003 after discovering a superb area right on Sydney Harbour at Pyrmont Point Park. Soon we out grew the space and moved to Canterbury Bowling Club which had a rarely used boulodrome. We upgraded the facilities and for a while things were rosy! Sadly, we were forced to move again as the fortunes of the bowling club waned and we now share a ground at the Bexley Bowling and Recreation Club in Bexley North with one of the 'traditional' clubs whose members are primarily French and Mauritian.
We have always been committed to growing the sport and to this end we have been lobbying councils to provide 'pistes' in public parks. It is our belief that we need to increase the spread of grounds to encourage local participation and natural growth. Some people can be intimidated by the formality of going to a bowling club to play petanque for the first time and for many, their 'vision' of petanque is as played in the villages France, not a bowling club!
That said once people get 'into it' the needs change and for big competitions we need a large piste with excellent facilities and we have that at Bexley which is our main 'competition' ground. We have a number of superb areas in public parks with a growing number of local enthusiasts in Centennial Park, Kirribilli (Milsons Point), South Coogee (Latham Park) and Ballast Point (Birchgrove). There are thousands of people in Sydney that who own a set of boules, we just have to encourage them to come out to play!
We are also branching further afield and are looking to set up groups in Goulburn and Bowral/Mittagong. You might know of another place we could start a group so please let us know! As we find a new ground we go about the business of promoting it to the locals through leaflets, articles in papers and websites and just by being seen playing petanque! We want people to use the piste whether we are there or not.
We are however, a 'club' and this means we are committed to increasing our membership, organising competitions and improving the standard of play. To this end, we organise regular "C'mon, have a go!" days so that people can associate with players of all levels and learn more about the rules. We organise friendly tournaments to give new players a taste of competition. Some people are afraid of the word 'competition' but it provides a bit of focus and structure which helps people enjoy the game more (trust us!). These are generally played in an afternoon or evening and run for 3 to 4 hours. As well, we conduct more serious 'Sport Petanque' events as well that may last all day and are more intense!
At Latham Park (Rankwick Boulodrome), we will be organising more of our 'Boules and Blues' events, combining a few hours of petanque followed by live music. Good fun!
Petanque is an ideal social sport for your class, group of friends, sports team or work colleagues. Introduce them to the quintessential French pastime! We can organise a special day for you! The Boules Artistes provide the equipment and tuition. We have great facilities for a really fun day.
C'mon, have a go! Contact Gary on (02) 9665 9943 or bapetanque(at)gmail.com or the directors listed below for further details.
What Drives Us
Whilst we cater for both social and competitive petanque, we are committed to introducing the sport of petanque to the general public, to build and foster a healthy social atmosphere, and to improve playing standards and promoting a high level of sportsmanship.