European Cup Petanque : an all-round success !
Mon 21 Aug '23 This was organised for the very first time in Bruges on 13 and 14 August 2023 ...
The local club Koninklijke Sporting Kring Doven Brugge organised this 1st European Cup Petanque for the Deaf in cooperation with Belgian Deaf sports Committee. What was normally supposed to take place in 2020 on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the local club was postponed twice due to the pandemic while 2022 was not possible due to the already too busy planned
centenary of our national federation.

Petanque has been played in Belgium since 1985 as a sport for the deaf but internationally it was only played with France and since the 2000s a few other countries also started to play this sport. At the end of the 2010s we noticed that there were more than 4 countries and the idea came up to set up this European Cup in order to give a signal to the European Deaf Sport Organisation (EDSO) to eventually set up a European Championship for which at least 6 countries had to debut. With this European Cup, 7 countries participated while at least 3 other European countries have recently started that sport but could not attend.

Therefore, we hope that by reporting on this exceptional event, the media will also give due attention to this sport among our target audience.

Sunday 13 August 2023
The opening ceremony took place at the Petanque grounds PC Den Arend, Arendstraat 34 b, 8000 Koolkerke.  This opening ceremony
went smoothly so that the European Cup "doublets" could start on time under a wide public interest for this first, only a heavy rain shower around noon interrupted this tournament for more than half an hour. For the first time, the Belgian national anthem was shown in Flemish sign language via a screen during the opening ceremony!

For the ladies, the finalists were known after the five preliminary rounds. Belgium 1 and Spain were the only ones with 4 victories and could play the final, which Belgium narrowly won with 13-12 as they still had to work hard to win after a 10-4 lead!

For the 3rd place Belgium 2 was the only one with 3 wins and got on the podium before France, Czech Republic and Sweden.

Unexpectedly, Belgium won 2 medals here against strong opponents!

In the men's competition, 2 pools were played and the losers of the first round were able to play a barrage which gave them a chance to qualify for the semi-finals, allowing France, Spain, Czech Republic and Belgium 1 to qualify. The favourites France and Spain then played the final which France won gloriously 13-9. The Belgians lost out to the Czech Republic for 3rd place by a wide margin while the Swiss won the consolation final for 5th place against Belgium 2 and Sweden beat Germany for 7th place.

This European Cup was attended today by several guests of honour including Mayor Dirk De fauw and alderman Welfare Pieter Marechal of the City of Bruges.

Monday, 14 August 2023
The European Cup "Single" and "Precision Shooting" took place on the Petanque grounds of PC De Gulden Kamer, Blauwkasteelweg 28 A, Sint Kruis - Brugge.

Especially the Precision Shooting men attracted many spectators, in this the Frenchman FAUREL Gino showed his superiority by taking a very high score in both the preliminary rounds and the final; against the Spaniard GIL APARICIO Juan Francisco;! For bronze, it was German SIEBERT David who took it from Belgian LAMI Fred.

In the women's event, after the preliminary rounds, France's LADEIRO-PIRES Sylvianne and Belgium's HERMANS Ingrid were qualified for the final, where the French more than deservedly won it. For third place, Czech JAVURKOVA Nikol had to take on AZZALIN Valerie and the Czech Republic was able to secure their 2nd medal here.

In Single Ladies, Spain's FERNANDEZ CALLEJON Montserrat was the only one with 4 wins while France, Sweden and Belgium 1 had 3 wins each. France with BRUNET Francoise was allowed to go to the final with a better score while Sweden's ANDERSSON Inger was the best for bronze. However, the final was won by France's BRUNET Francoise with 13-8.
Single Men was again a showdown between the 2 top countries France and Spain with in the final which Spaniard LARA MARTINEZ Antonio won brilliantly against Frenchman JULIEN Cyril with 13-11. It was also exciting for bronze with 13-11 between Swede HÖGBERG Thord and Belgian WILMSEN Michel.

Bruges Alderman of Culture Nico Blontrock was the guest of honour at this European Cup today.

In the evening, the Extra Award ceremony took place with the following nominations:

  •  MVP Men:           FAUREL Gino - France
  •  Fair-Play Prize:   Switzerland

A very successful organisation to the great satisfaction of all participants from the 7 countries Czech Republic, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium. For this, all thanks go to the volunteers of the organising club Koninklijke Sporting Kring Doven Brugge.
But the cooperation of Petanque Federatie Vlaanderen and Belgium was also very important for this event, so that everything could take place within an official framework. This federation thus showed its great interest in including this sport within their framework as a sport for people with disabilities such as our target group, the deaf and hard of hearing.

The next European Cup will normally take place in Spain 2025. Meanwhile, an application will be submitted to the European Congress of European Deaf Sport Organisation to also organise an official European Championship, possibly from 2026 and in which more diverse trials can be included over a 1-week period and with the intention of keeping the European Cup among the European Championships as long as this sport is not yet included on a global level.

The only downside is the little media interest, despite the prior press release.

The official results can be downloaded below.
Handy links
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