Bullish on boules

As I previously noticed, women are becoming bullish on boules, and I am delighted about this.

From left to right: Wanda Porcella, Elaine Adrian, Lalena Porro Goard, Ann Krilanovich, Christine Cragg, Abby Danielson

When I took up the game about 20 years ago, the sport was dominated by old French curmudgeons who viewed women as second-rate, unworthy opponents. The game was strictly segregated, with men playing on one side, and a few intrepid women amusing themselves on the back of the bus the field.

But I am glad to report that things have changed and that there is now a bevy of beauties playing in our field. I believe that we owe this in great part to Christine Cragg. Thank you, Madame President. I am glad to see this because I always believed that women could do as well as men in many disciplines.

“I did everything he did but backward & in high heels.” ~ Ginger Rogers

In any sport, people usually like to compete with more experienced players, but personally, I don’t mind playing with newcomers. At one time or another, we all have been newbies… and if it was not for some accommodating folks, we would all be stuck in the same old routines.

In Marin, Loel McPhee, Abby Danielson, Beth Pay, Carmel O’Hara and Ann Krilanovich are now regular fixtures, and they are bullish on boules. When they started, they looked awkward and performed rather poorly; but I am happy to report that, in the last few weeks I have seen a definite improvement in all of them. Especially Ann: she is now pointing decently, and she is also starting to shoot. She is enthusiastic about the game and plays to win. Give her another year and she will give you a run for your money.

Ideally speaking, you should start any discipline at a young age, but it is not always possible. Even if you take up a new form of exercise later in life, you can become very successful at it.

Regardless of your age, pétanque is an ideal sport for just about anybody. It is a social discipline that keeps you active, the rules are simple, the equipment is minimal, and it is ridiculously inexpensive. To become good at it, there is only one way to do it: practice, practice, and practice again.

 I am tired of losing to male competitors; it is not fun. Like a true masochist, I want to enjoy the pain of losing against someone from the “weaker sex” … and I am pretty sure that this scenario is not too far off.

 Whilst men may play the game, women know the score. Habeeb Akande


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