Boules players do their bit for charity

Derbyshire Dales Boules League
Derbyshire Dales Boules League

MEMBERS of the Derbyshire Dales Boules League have handed over a cheque for £600 to the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance Service at the group’s most recent committee meeting.

The meeting was held at the Lime Kiln pub in Wirksworth and the special guest was Moira Teager of Air Ambulance Service who collected the cheque, which will go towards the running costs of the service.

Bob Morton, chairman of the Boules League, explained why the particular charity was chosen. Previous years monies had been donated to the Whitworth Hospital League of Friends, but the league AGM had decided a different charity should be awarded the funds and the Derbyshire Air Ambulance was selected as being the most local of those proposed by the members.

The money raised comes from a fund set up by the Boules League, which generates income from fees paid by the 48 teams registered to play in its six divisions.

The league running costs are a fairly low amount. League income is bolstered by late payment surcharges by the teams who register their playing credentials later than required, and this extra income is what provides the monies for charitable donations.

Derbyshire Dales Boules league was established in 1992 to formalise the playing of a variation of the French game of petanque, which in itself is a variation of the ‘English’ game of bowls, said to have been started by sailors in their leisure moments rolling cannon balls towards a target.

The game is now played all over the Derbyshire Dales, having grown from the original six teams in 1992, to the quite sophisticated set-up now running, with over 500 people of all ages involved.

The current playing season is now well under way. All leagues have started, despite the need to adjust fixtures to allow for various pubs going out of business, to be replaced by teams playing from other hosts.

The annual Knock-Out Cup has gone past the preliminary stage of matches. The leagues, – Brittany, Normandy, Loire, Vendee, Anjou and Beaujolais – are graded by promotion/relegation between the divisions, the season culminates in September with Cup and Plate semis and finals and the last round of league fixtures.

During the playing season, there are other competitions organised by local pubs, including the White Lion at Starkholmes, a doubles competition, Rising Sun Middleton, mixed doubles, Plough at Two Dales, triples, and Malt Shovel on Wirksworth Moor, the singles competition. Players from teams in the leagues are joined by others who do not play as regularly, the idea being to end up with a winner of the competition on the day, and also to enjoy the occasion by sharing social skills with boulists of all standards and ages.

New teams are always welcome at the start of the playing season. They should register an interest at the AGM in November, or by accessing www.ddbl.org.uk and leaving contact details.