Former World Champion and current French National Team coach Alain Bideau addresses Edmonds Petanque club members in Nice, France

September in the French Riviera is the perfect time to visit and play Petanque, as 14 members of the Edmonds Petanque Club found out in the pleasant sunshine on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Daniel Olivieri, President de l ‘Entente des Sociétés Nicoises de Petanque et Jeu Provencal, was the host for the week. He welcomed the Americans and provided the opportunity for both American and French to play the game of petanque.

From a young age, French kids learn to play petanque. Different venues provided enjoyable games and helped to create warm friendships with local players.

The Edmonds Petanque Club members played games in Nice at Clos Bouliste René Pietruschi and at the AB Carras Club. American teams played French teams, and often the French and Americans players participated together.

In Monaco, at the Club Bouliste Monegasque, the courts on the rooftop of a building overlooking the Mediterranean Sea were spectacular. In addition to the warm welcome and different places to play, Daniel Olivieri and the clubs provided food and fellowship for the devotees of petanque from both countries.

The welcoming spirit of the French hosts provided a unique and exceptional experience for the Edmonds group. A special workshop with Alain Bideau, former world champion and now coach of the French team, was organized.

It was a great honor to have instruction from a master player. The skills and techniques learned will be shared and practiced in Edmonds.

At a tournament in Nice, La Nicoise, Nuit de la Petanque by the border of the Mediterranean Sea, Nice City officials presented to Michelle Martin, President of the Edmonds Petanque Club, the City Medaillon. Also, Bideau presented the medaillon of the Federation Francaise de Petanque et Jeu Provencal. Gifts were exchanged and a tasty dinner was served. It was a special Franco-American evening brought by the game of petanque.

The Nice players were invited to play petanque and a tournament in the new petanque grove at Civic Field in Edmonds. The reciprocal visit invitation was well received, and planning will begin after the new park is completed.

This article authored by Mike Martin