The Cockle Bay Petanque Club turns 25 on Sunday, October 11 making it one of the longer-running petanque clubs in the Auckland area.
The game was first introduced to New Zealand in the early 1990s and in 1994, Howick residents Peter and Rita de Beer, after being introduced to the game in Holland, placed an advertisement in the local newspaper for those interested in playing locally to contact them.
They started to play under the large pohutukawa tree at the eastern end of Cockle Bay. Later the same year, Peter and Rita approached the Howick Community Board to see if council would be prepared to construct a petanque terrain in the Cockle Bay Reserve adjacent to the scout hall.
This fitted in well with Manukau City’s plans for a festival of sport in early 1995 and the terrain was constructed in November 1994.
Play then shifted from under the pohutukawa to the new terrain.
On October 11, some 20 players met at the terrain and officially formed the club. In its first year, the club had about 60 members, some of whom are still playing regularly.
The club also enters a team of six in the interclub competition run by the Auckland Petanque Association, hosting one round each year and also hosts an open doubles and a seniors event each year.
The club is running a special open doubles this weekend, Sunday October 11 starting at 10am. Spectators are welcome.