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Petanque-ing around the country

World champion player visits Zanesfield, instructs youths

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LEFT: Bellefontaine High School French student Sarah Hall launches a petanque boule as her classmates, from left, Erin Levine, Kelsie Blair, Nick Holoman, Ryan Dunn and Wesley McClain look on Thursday at Zanesfield’s Hall-Fawcett Park. RIGHT: Jean Marc “Marco” Foyot, right, watches a petanque boule approach its mark. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Jean Marc “Marco” Foyot raises his hands in success to applause of Bellefontaine High School French students after hitting a small bar twice successively with a petanque boule. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | REUBEN MEES)

It’s not every day that a master of a sport visits Logan County, but that was the case Thursday when a renowned French petanque champion stopped in Zanesfield.

Jean Marc “Marco” Foyot, a world petanque champion and winner of numerous other awards and records in the sport, visited the Zanesfield Petanque Club’s courts at Hall-Fawcett Park to offer clinics for about 60 local youths and private and group lessons for adult petanque players from Ohio and Michigan.

“One of the goals is to increase enthusiasm and encourage involvement of kids,” Mr. Foyot said through the translation of Bellefontaine High School French teacher Shannon Hodge.

“Discovering America, I’m already very impressed by the immensity of the country and the differences within Americans,” he said through the interpreter, noting that he experienced Native American and Hispanic cultures in New Mexico, and has previously visited California and Florida.

“Then to come here to Zanesfield, it’s like coming home to the countryside of France. It’s very pretty here.”

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