Report by Ben Nicholson (A Proud Dad)
My son, Zac, is one of Camberwell (CPC) & Victoria's only Junior members. He started playing petanque at around 10 yrs old.
For some history, flash back to 2017 when Zac travelled (with kind support from CPC & the Australian sport commission) to Kaihua, China. There he competed with the Australian team in the World Junior Petanque Championships. In the International petanque world, Australia is always an underdog & all the more so with a team 4-6yrs younger than much of their opposition, i.e. 17 yr old, 6ft tall, bearded Europeans (picture David & Goliath)! Remembering the semi-final still brings tears to my eyes – as the crowd erupted when the tiny Aussies defeated Latvia 13-12 with a game winning carreau! With the odds stacked against them, the team went on to finish runner-up to Japan 6-13 in the Nation's Cup (very solid game), bringing home Australia's 1st ever International petanque trophy. At this stage someone from CPC gave Zac the title "Zaction".
Flash forward to Easter 2019, at the Australian National Championships - played over 4 days, consisting of 2 days Triples & 1 day each of Doubles & Singles. Zac (15 yrs old) reunited to play doubles with his friend (China 2017 team) Bronson (17 yrs old) from Newcastle, NSW. They were the only junior team at the competition, which needless to say contained some very experience senior teams (Bronson's younger brother, Logan, had played in the triples). After qualifying in top 16 teams, Zac & Bronson were knocked into the Complementaire draw. They then defeated a Canberra team in the Semi-final with one of the best games of the tournament - a very strong, united & aggressive (style not demeanour) display of petanque. One of their opponents was a former jeu provençal (or boule Lyonnaise) champion. Zac & Bronson played as a real team, displaying the focus & concentration required to win in challenging circumstances. They showed that age is no barrier to skill & after 12 hours of petanque the boys continued to win the Complementaire final 13-2, against one of the top Victorian teams (Jessen Soomary & Frederic Vencatasamy).
One needs to search quite hard to find a negative from the boys play. The only one I can think of is that they stole a number of spectators (myself included) from the Principale final which was played on the adjoining piste. Insert smiley face here:-).
Great achievement for any team, let alone a junior team! Something everyone to be proud of – especially me.
WELL DONE – ZACTION & BRONSON.
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