An 'open letter', some questions 'we' might like to consider in moving forward. I offer no opinions and would add that he (or she) whom is without sin should cast the first stone.
Is the big question what or whom is 'we'? Is it time for 'us' to live in the truth? Could it be that 'we' doesn't really exist? Can 'we', individually and collectively make an honest, searching inventory of what we have, where we are and who we are? Could it be that before we make more plans for tournaments, ladders, representation, prizes, kit etc. that 'we' need to take a good look at ourselves first?
Are 'we' the elephant in the room?
We promote ourselves as being "friendly"; are we? We say Petanque is "fun"; is it? Could it be that if an alien landed and followed our club days and tournaments for a year that what 'he' would see, hear and experience is not quite what we bill Petanque as being? Are there some overbaring egos at large that could put new and average players off? What makes 'us' think that out of (say) 1,000 players, any more than (say) 30 have the slightest interest in doing anything more than 'having a day out and having a cup of tea (or beers, wines etc.) and a feed'? How do such potential tournament players perceive the whole situation? Might they feel intimidated, embarrased, belittled? Maybe they're put off by the cliques? Perhaps they've got better things to do than listen to loud (non native French speaking) adults proclaiming how great they are in embarrasing 'French' accents? Could they look on at the better players 'practicing' and feel left out and/ or that they just can't imagine being able to do what they can do?
Do 'we' actually want players coming through? If so, could we all be a little less as we may appear to be and a little more genuinely interested in helping each other without ego?
Are 'we' our own worst enemies? Could 'we', each of us stop and think 'is what I'm about to do going to genuinely help another player or do I have a more selfish motive'.
We need the people who are prepared to put time into organising and communicating, every organised pass-time does. I'm not such a person but I know if I'm honest that I could do more in taking 'me' out of the equation and offering help and support where I can. Should we all be taking a look at ourselves and asking similar questions? If not, then individually it must follow that each of us is quite happy just the way things are...