President's Report to the 2009 Annual General Meeting

It is my pleasure to present the Annual Report for the Wellington Pétanque Association. A pleasure because, while I unexpectedly found myself in this position the help and support I have received throughout the year from so many people has been tremendous.

My special thanks go to Owen Davie for taking on the job of Secretary at extremely short notice and doing it so well; to Brian Smith for keeping our financial records; to Gwen Hill for mustering the umpires and setting an example to the rest of the Country; to the Tournament Subcommittee of Graeme Morris, Dirk Winnie & Enoka Smiler without whose help I would have been even busier than I have been, & to Michael Rocks for keeping our web site up to date & encouraging coaching. Also a big thank you to all the Clubs who hosted tournaments and the incredible number of volunteers without whom we would not be able to continue. On behalf of Pétanque I thank you all and ask you to continue your good work.


Last year saw the introduction by PNZ of National Achievement Awards. In the lower North Island the following awards were made:-
Graeme Morris of Masterton Club - Official of the Year
Dirk Winnie of the Khandallah Club - Player of the Year
Helen and Doug Hay of the Masterton Club - Team of the year
Kath and Kaye Alison of Kapiti Club - Volunteer(s) of the year
Our congratulations go to all of these deserving people.

National Representatives

During the last 12 months a number of our competitive players were rewarded for their hard work by being selected to represent New Zealand in International competition, they were:-
Women's World championships in Samsun, Turkey: - Barbara Johnston (Masterton).
Trans Tasman Challenge, Christchurch:-
Open Team:-Claire Bradburn (Silverstream), Lorraine Gibbons (Masterton), Helene Hay (Masterton), Monica Smiler (Park Avenue) and Dirk Winnie (Khandallah).
Seniors Team:-Kath Alison (Kapiti), Kaye Alison (Kapiti), Rex Hayes (Kapiti) and Joan Miller (Masterton).
Youth Trans Tasman, Auckland:-Nick Toyne (Wanganui East) and Nikki Winnie (Windy Hills)

Congratulations to you all. It is terrific to see so many players from our region gain National recognition. 2009 is also starting well with the announcement of the Seniors Trans Tasman Team which includes:-Rex Hayes (Kapiti), Joan Miller (Masterton) and Graeme Morris (Masterton). Ten players from our region have been included in the top 24 players from whom a total of 8 men and 8 women will be chosen to Represent New Zealand. They have our best wishes for success at the Assessment camp in Auckland on 21 & 22 February.

Tournament Subcommittee

2008 saw the introduction of a Tournament sub-committee consisting of the following members:-Graeme Morris (Chair), Dirk Winnie, Enoka Smiler and Claire Bradburn.

The subcommittee organised the following tournaments: WPA Singles, WPA Doubles, WPA Open Triples, WPA Senior Doubles and Women's Singles, Doubles and Triples.

For the WPA Singles, WPA Doubles and WPA Open Triples we reverted to seeded pool play rather than the random snake draw that had been used for several years. The pool play met with a few negative comments but it is the opinion of the subcommittee that a more cut-throat approach to our tournament play is needed to ensure that Wellington Pétanque keeps up with or remains ahead of other regions in New Zealand.

The subcommittee has also sought clarification from WPA clubs as to which tournaments are to be regarded as Wellington Championships and should therefore be awarded winner's shirts. It was agreed that the Wellington Regional Singles, Wellington Regional Doubles, Wellington Regional Triples and the Wellington Senior Doubles would be granted Championship status.


In August 2008 the region's PNZ registered umpires, both Regional and Club, got together and formed an Umpires Subcommittee with Gwen Hill as Chairperson assisted by Claire Bradburn and Michael Rocks. Gwen aims to allocate umpires - preferably 2 - to each WPA tournament. It was agreed that the WPA would contribute to costs of car travel to tournaments for non playing umpires. These added costs should be able to be covered by tournament entry fees. This will be monitored by the Treasurer.

The allocation of umpires has worked very well but it was felt that the umpires needed to be more visible. PNZ have indicated their intention to provide some form of identification, but in the meantime the WPA has provided very visible over-vests for umpires in the region. These have been worn on 2 occasions so far and appear to be well received by players. They should also ensure that other players participating in tournaments who are not designated umpires for an event are able to get on and concentrate on their game without interruption. Hopefully this move will also stop players from asking questions of anyone they think know the rules and instead ask the official umpire who can also give rules interpretations. It is up to the umpires to decide on the tricky questions and, as per PNZ Player Code of Behaviour; players during the game are expected to accept without argument, the decision of the Umpire

There are about 8 or 9 players in the region who are interested in becoming club/regional umpires and it is hoped that early in 2009 Barbara Whittington (National Umpire) will be able to set exams for them.

This surely bodes well for Pétanque in general as they will be able to help club members understand and use the correct rules. It will also make it much easier for Gwen to find the number of umpires she needs, and maybe even enable clubs to get assistance with their Club tournaments.


During the year Michael Rocks organised a meeting of all qualified coaches in the region. This was held at the Khandallah club and brought coaches together to discuss coaching methods and strategies, and also sought to get a unified approach from the coaches in attendance. How this could be achieved was not clearly defined at that stage.

Later in the year Graeme Morris was appointed Regional Coach and Bryan Wells Assistant coach for the Wellington Region.

The early responsibility for these coaches was attendance at a meeting of all the regional coaches for New Zealand and to carry out the regional assessment day for players who had put their names forward for selection in national representative teams.

At the last WPA meeting for 2008 the Regional Coach put forward (for adoption/comment) a coaching strategy for the Wellington Region. This plan is designed to ensure that qualified coaches within the WPA are able to have a mechanism in place to maintain their qualification and to provide coaching at all levels within the region.


I believe that this is the next area the WPA needs to put more energy into. While we have made good progress with three other main areas i.e. coaching, umpiring & the running of tournaments these are no good if we don't have the members to use them.

An analysis of membership shows that over the last 7yrs. membership has increased by 50%, but since 2006 there has been a drop of 3.59% or 16 players. This may not seem a lot but it is an indication that we are probably not replenishing our losses. I propose a new sub-committee be set up to focus on this area. Clubs will be asked to look to their membership for people with relevant skills.

A new initiative for 2009 is the Inaugural College Sport Wellington, Pétanque Tournament to be held on Wednesday 28th October at Park Avenue. This exciting development is in the early stage of planning. There will be a need for a number of helpers building up to the event and on the day itself, so please start thinking about any assistance your Club and it's members can give.

I hope you all enjoyed your year of Pétanque and continue to do so in this coming year.

Claire Bradburn