If you are looking for a pleasant pastime to while away a few hours outside now that summer is here, why not try your hand at petanque?
The game, a form of boules, originates from France.
It can be played with players of any age, from 5 to 95.
It is an incredibly simple game to follow and play and while there is certainly skill involved, there is also the potential for plenty of beginner's luck so you are not left too frustrated.
The game can be played as an individual or team game, with teams consisting of two or three players.
The aim is to lob a metal ball (boule), trying to get closest to the jack (cochonnet), similar to bowls.
But for those who can't easily bend down to pick up balls, fear not.
A clever magnet on a cord can be used to save your back.
Des Pattison has been a fan of the game for about three years, along with wife Lesley, and he is keen to get others hooked.
"We played down in Christchurch. There were 40 members there," he says.
"It is just so easy to play, it's good for anyone - even if you don't like sport."
When Des and Lesley arrived from Christchurch two years ago they were keen to keep playing and about the same time the New Commercial pub installed a piste, the technical name for the raised shingle bed on which the game is played.
While there was a lack of interest last year, Des hopes more people will come and have a go this summer, and make the most of the pub's garden and petanque area.
A twilight session will be held at the New Commercial throughout summer every Tuesday from 5.30 until around 7pm.
A second session will be held on Friday mornings for anyone with some spare time during the day.
Des and Lesley will be available to explain the scoring and finer details, so grab your friends, come along and have a go, or to find out more, call Des on 027 441 4096.
- Kaikoura Star
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