We recognise that the future prosperity of petanque in Scotland relies on recruiting new players. In particular we are keen to introduce juniors (under 18s) and espoirs (under 21s) to the sport. These players may be champions or policy makers of the future and will ensure our sport continues to grow and for expertise to be passed down the generations.
We understand that it can be a challenge for clubs to recruit youngsters, with so much competition for their time. The SPA are committed to assisting clubs recruit youngsters and there are several reasons why they should do this sooner rather than later:
- The SPA is eligible to select squads for Junior and Espoirs World and European Championships. There are therefore substantial opportunities for international play. In our experience, youngsters often respond well to having a big prize to aim for, and what better reward than to play for your country?
- Petanque is recognised by Sportscotland as a sport which is eligible for funding and grant assistance. With competitive sport now recognised as a means for ‘preventative spending’ it is an ideal time to raise funds to encourage more youngsters into petanque. Much of the focus of grant funding is in increasing participation in sport, particularly amongst the young, and grants have been successfully received by our member clubs for purchasing equipment, running taster and coaching sessions and promoting petanque to young people.
It goes without saying that any club wishing to recruit youngsters must have a Child Protection Policy. The SPA’s policy can be used as a template if necessary, or there is substantial assistance available on this point from Sportscotland’s website.