Monday, April 13, 2009

WWCQT Winners in the Paper

The Winners of the WWCQT that will Represent the USA in the upcoming Women World Championship appeared in the Local Sun Sentinel Newspaper.

Boca petanque star to represent U.S. at world finals

By Cynthia Thuma
Boca Raton's Marieke Rolland will again be a world traveler later this year.Rolland has been selected to represent the United States for the third time at the Women's Petanque World Championships in Thailand Nov. 13-15.
Petanque is a sport resembling lawn bowling and bocce that's very popular in Europe, South America and Asia, and is rapidly gaining interest elsewhere. Rolland already has competed internationally in Canada and France.In November, she'll be part of a team with Mia Kanazawa and Cynthia Stroud, who also qualified for worlds from the United States National Women's Team and are members of the Maine Petanque Club. The three earned the honor by virtue of their performance April 4-5 at Lawton Chiles Park in Delray Beach.Rolland and her teammates broke from an 11-all tie in the championship match of the qualifier to defeat Diana Jacobs, Sandra Bonneville and Antonia Chavez from the Los Angeles Petanque Club and earn the trip overseas."We were lucky enough to put the last balls in to win 15-11," she said. "It's such a great thing to represent [our country] at an event such as this. People ask for autographs and you feel like such a big shot."Still, Rolland says, she wouldn't mind a bit more support — the kind athletes in some of the better-known sports receive."Our organization [Federation of Petanque USA] gives us our uniforms and some prize money, but they can't do much more," she said. "My teammates are talking about doing bake sales to make extra money for the trip."Rolland, whose husband John started the Boca Petanque 2000 club she competes for and is the former president of the federation, said she is especially happy for her teammates, who battled through considerable adversity to win. Their club is the only petanque club in Maine."We have a lot of members, 50, maybe 55, but they did what they did on their own," she said. "There are not too many people, not too much competition there, but it'll be a big deal when they get home. They'll have champagne all over them."Americans generally do not fare that well on the international stage, leaving U.S. team members feeling a bit like Jamaican bobsledders."Exactly," she said. "That's us in the petanque world, but still, it's the Olympic Games for our sport, with 40 countries represented. It's all red, white and blue for us."