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Seasoned clubs of the Adelaide Park Lands

The green embrace of the Adelaide Park Lands have long been a place for play. Scattered among the 7,600,000 square metres surrounding the city are dozens of sporting clubs, some which have been in operation for almost a century! It seems time flies when you're having fun.

We spoke with leaders of three of these historic clubs to ask them who plays and how you can get involved. Aim for excellence with Adelaide Archery Club, connect with French culture and community with Club de Petanque D'Adelaide, and play a tough but fair game with the Adelaide Lutheran Sport Club Bulldogs

Adelaide Archery Club is South Australia’s oldest archery club and has always called the green expanse of the Adelaide Park Lands home. 

Club President Daniel Caon shares the shape of the modern club and why membership is booming with around 200 current members.

How would the archery community describe themselves, what kinds of people practice?

Archery is a sport suitable for all ages, and caters for people of all abilities, including people with disability.

Our sport is run by volunteers so our community of archers relies on people helping out where they can to keep events running smoothly. Members often ask how they can help and give back to the club.

How has being located in the Adelaide Park Lands benefited the club?

Adelaide Archery Club has the privilege of leasing a part of the Park Lands to use as our sports ground. It is a highly visible and attractive location and it’s rare to have such a quality archery facility so close to the city. Its central location is one of the major reasons the club has the largest membership of any SA club. And as our lease is for 7 days a week, our members can use the grounds on any day to practice.

What does it take to be a great archer?

As per all good endeavours, archery is easy to learn, but difficult to master. If you are enthusiastic and have the time, a coach will steer you to improve your technique, and with practice and focus your scores will improve. Some Adelaide Archery Club members have gone on to represent Australia at the Olympic games, with Simon Fairweather winning the archery gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Another member, David Barnes, has represented Australia at the 2004 Athens games and is in training for the upcoming Tokyo games.

Why should people get involved in archery?

  • Archery is predominately an outdoor sport, so competitors get to exercise outside in the fresh air.
  • Archery requires focus to perform well so can be both relaxing and challenging.
  • You get to meet new people.
  • The sport is accessible to anyone from 9 years old to over 80 years.

How can people get involved with your club?

Beginners to the sport must complete a training course. All clubs offer them, with Adelaide Archery Club offering 9 courses per year, each one running over 3 Sunday mornings for 2 hours each day. They learn basic archery technique, how to shoot safely and information about archery equipment. After completion of the course, they can apply to join a club.

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photo-icon State Library of South Australia b 7806

Archery Meeting, approximately 1870 (while archery was played in the Park Lands this long ago, it was not until 1946 the Adelaide archery Club's Name was solidified)

Archery tournament
photo-icon Adelaide Archery Club

modern day on the grounds

Club de Petanque D'Adelaide, the oldest Petanque club in Australia, was started by 5 French gentlemen in March 1977 when they met in the Park Lands and wanted to keep a little of France close to their hearts.

Club President Rada Pierre shares in insight into the club today and why you should get involved.

How would the petanque community describe themselves, what kids of people play?

    Our Petanque community is very inclusive with many different nationalities, we are all aware of making everybody feel welcome. We will never turn anyone away even if we have to make slight adjustments to teams. Club members range in age and our oldest player celebrated her 90th birthday recently. She was very touched when we surprised her with a birthday song and cake. 

    Our club is working with Arthritis SA to encourage people to enjoy the fresh air and play Petanque as it is a gentle exercise. 

    Renmark Highschool has visited our club for many years as part of their french language they visit the Central Markets to see the french stalls then on to our club to play petanque, and then onto Carrick Hill. 

    How has being located in the Adelaide Park Lands benefited the club?

      Our game in the parklands has exposed the use of council grounds and shows people a game that perhaps they have not seen and may be interested in. It also showcases the french community. Everybody starts the game with basic skills and knowledge over time and with some coaching a player's confidence will grow.

      What does it take to be a great petanque player?

        Practice and playing regularly will hopefully make you a good player. Our club is one big family with many close friendships. Making people feel included is one of our priorities.

        How can people get involved with your club?

          People can see our calendar on our website and are most welcome to join us. There is also a club phone number (0419 847 216) and if we are unable to answer your call immediately someone will return all calls.

          Adelaide Lutheran Sports Club (The Bulldogs) has existed in various forms since the late sixties and settled in the south Adelaide Park Lands in 1983.

          Football was the original club sport, in the nineties cricket and netball teams were established, and their club now includes women’s football and cricket, junior football, cricket and soccer with clubrooms and multiple playing fields.

          Club Chairman Tim Stollznow reflects and says "over the years, countless players and supporters have committed a huge amount of time and energy to make the Club what it is today."


          1974 Bulldogs B-Grade Premiers


          Bulldogs Premiers

          How would the club community describe themselves, what kids of people play?

          We describe our club as a “Country Club in the City” – strong community, everyone welcome, not based on a suburb or old scholars from a particular school. We have a rapidly developing junior competition from 8 to 16 years.

          How has being located in the Adelaide Park Lands benefited the club?

            We love being based in the Parklands. We don’t have residents nearly so sports lighting and noise do not generally cause any concern. We also have plenty of room including parking (mostly) with up to three cricket or football ovals, soccer plus we have 18 senior netball teams.

            What does it take to be a great player?

              A determination to enjoy sport and the social interaction associated with being part of an inclusive club. We cater for all ages and abilities across a wide variety of sports.

              Why should people get involved?

                The Club includes over 500 playing members and 30 sports teams with a fantastic culture of tough but fair competition and a stable and friendly social environment for singles and families alike. We have volunteers that help out every week. And it’s not just players that get involved, whether it’s cooking a BBQ, being a sports trainer, running water, operating a scoreboard, being a member of one of the many committees, we have roles for everyone and anyone. Businesses too - we love promoting local businesses.

                How can people get involved with your club?

                  Go to our website to check out more details or send us an email at [email protected]