Profile: Pat Connolly

Pat ConnollyFollowing her recent success at the EPA Over-50s Doubles Championship in Brighton, Club Secretary Pat Connolly is our featured player.

Your name Pat Connolly.

Age 69.

Occupation Retired.

What was the last book you read? The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas.

Do you have a favourite film? Midnight Cowboy and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Favourite Music? Bryan Ferry, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young to name but a few.

When did you start playing? 2003.

What made you start? I was retired and looking for an interest. I liked the social aspect and of course the great location.

What do you like about the club? The combination of social and competitive play and the camaraderie.

What boules do you use? Intégrale 720g.

What position do you play? Mainly Pointer and occasionally Shooter.

What other hobbies and interests do you have? Reading, swimming, films and I am a volunteer at the Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham.

Tell us something about yourself that club members won’t know. My first job at 17 was in Soho and I spent many a lunch hour in a dive bar in Wardour Street – oh happy days!

What is your pétanque ambition? To carry on playing well into my dotage and continue to help take the club forward.

How have you seen the club develop? Having played since 2003 I have seen the club improve in leaps and bounds both competitively and socially and it is definitely well respected in the pétanque community.

What does being Club Secretary involve? My main job is recording Minutes of meetings. Also as a contact for other clubs and organisations wishing to play.

You’ve just won the EPA Over 50s Doubles Plate Compeition – Congratulations! Can you tell us about the competition? I was over the moon winning (with my partner, Ian Maynard) it. I thought the club excelled itself on all fronts in hosting this event, with a total of 40 teams entering. This was all due to the willingness to help by club members.

You’re also played in the European Cup for Clubs – can you tell us about this event? I am particularly fond of this competition because it comes at a time when the season is closing down and it keeps the momentum going. It is also quite a tough competition.

You’ve also played in the Sussex Regional Squad and the Inter-Regional Championship at Brean Sands – your thoughts, please? My first visit to Brean was a real eye-opener to see so many people playing and how well the EPA organised it. It is a great experience but a tiring one, for me, playing two long days. The social side is always fun which compensates for the hard work.

Do you prefer Singles, Doubles or Triples? I prefer to play Doubles – nothing like having three boules.

Can you give us a tip for playing? Always go to look at where the boules have landed because it often looks very different from the circle – something I should take note of!

How would you like to see the club develop? I feel the club has developed so much in the past few years it will be hard to top this. A junior team is lacking and this perhaps is something to be worked on. I just hope that we can continue to keep a good balance between social and competitive play. ”Onwards and Upwards.”

Pat, thanks you so much for taking the time to answer and for everything you’ve contributed to the club.

Ray Ager Oct 2011.

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