Now in his second year as Competitions Secretary, Ian has established himself as one of the club’s top players since he joined in 2010.
How did you come to join the club? Did you play pétanque before? When I used to walk down the promenade I was always intrigued by the game. I remember watching the Taylors, Trish, Jeff and Daniel. I ventured closer one club afternoon and Jill Chrismas looked after me and made me feel very welcome. The following week was a Come and Try, and I lobbed boules into the car tyre and attempted other tasks encouraged by Janice and Ray.
How do you like pétanque? I think it’s an excellent sport due to the inclusivity. Some sports require participants to be of a similar standard and fitness but pétanque is ideal for all.
What boules do you use? Not sure but they’re 700 grams and 740 mm in diameter. It’s what Ray had for sale at the time!
What position do you prefer playing? I enjoy playing in every position. Shooting offers both the greatest reward and failure. A poor point can still win but a missed shot is usually a wasted boule. The middle (my usual position for my Sussex team) is a different challenge as often a shot comes after much pointing and not when in a rhythm of shooting.
Do you prefer triples, doubles or singles? Again, I like them all. Initially it was singles as I didn’t have to worry that I may be letting down teammates and I got to both point and shoot. The others offer team dynamics which add to the game. I love improving my tactical awareness and have benefitted from having some experienced teammates. Triples can be too inactive in the winter!
What have been your pétanque highlights so far?
- in my first full season, winning the EPA Over-50s Plate final with Pat (October 2011). The final was played in the gathering gloom and we had a good crowd of club members supporting us at the finish – despite being reminded we really only finished seventeenth!
- qualifying for the Sussex team, with experienced teammates Tony and Alan (from Crowborough) – we’ve enjoyed high rankings (top team last year) and good results at Hayling Island [the Inter-Regional Championship]
- being a member of the the club’s squad that got through twice to the last eight of the regional stage of the Euro Cup for Clubs
- last season, finishing in the top four of the EPA Over-50s Championship with David A
- Winning the Worthing Charity Doubles with Tony in March this year
What has been your involvement with BHPC? As a weekender it isn’t easy to take a prominent role but I was elected Competition Secretary, something that can be planned from afar.
Can you tell us something that (most) club members don’t already know about yourself. For my 50th birthday celebrations I took a sabbatical and learnt to sail yachts; experienced ski mountaineering, including walking to the top of the highest mountain in Italy, with skis on, for two days before skiing down in powder; and finishing with a 12-week overland trip from Nairobi to Cape Town in a truck, erecting a tent most nights – oh, to be young!
Can you tell us something about your career? Teacher: Nottingham, Melbourne (Australia), Muscat (Oman) and London.
What are your other interests? Sport – currently golf and tennis; Real Ale; and helping Purna Sen (my partner) to get elected as MP for Brighton Pavilion.