Mayor launches petanque contest

NADV 1704021AM1 The Mayor of Harrogate Coun. Nick Brown, Robert Simpson of sponsors Ellis Bates,  Emma Vanson (St. Michael's Hospice), Sue Howe ( Harrogate Montpellier Petanque Club) and The Mayoress of Harrogate Linda Brown have ago at Petanque. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1704021AM1)
NADV 1704021AM1 The Mayor of Harrogate Coun. Nick Brown, Robert Simpson of sponsors Ellis Bates, Emma Vanson (St. Michael's Hospice), Sue Howe ( Harrogate Montpellier Petanque Club) and The Mayoress of Harrogate Linda Brown have ago at Petanque. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1704021AM1)

The Mayor of Harrogate Coun Nick Brown tried his hand at petanque as he launched the sixth annual Saint Michael’s Cup.

Coun Brown and the Mayoress Linda Brown joined representatives from Saint Michael’s Hospice and the event sponsors, Ellis Bates Group, on Sunday to launch the competition, organised by the Harrogate Montpellier Petanque Club, at The Pierhead, close to Bettys on West Park.

Club chairman Nigel Clay said: “This is a very enjoyable way to raise money for one of Harrogate’s most worthy causes.

“Petanque is a very accessible and easy to play sport, and the competition format is very flexible.”

The competition sees teams of three players play a minimum of three matches over the summer, before a knockout stage will leave the final four teams competing for the Saint Michael’s Cup and Plate on the evening of Thursday, September 14.

During the day, Coun Brown also presented Mr Clay with an award of £300 from Harrogate Borough Council’s 2016 Small Grant Fund for voluntary organisations.

The grant has been used to improve facilities at The Pierhead and provide additional equipment to enable more people to enjoy the sport.

Mr Clay said: “Petanque is a very accessible game for all ages and abilities. There are not many sports where you can be playing competitively with only ‘minutes’ of initial coaching and practice.

“It is also a very sociable activity and a relaxing way to meet new people and make friends.”