Boules championships both social, fierce competition
The 2015 Swedish Championships for Boules were held in Uppsala, with around 1,600 people competing in the tournament. People from seven to 80 years old were playing on over 200 impromptu boules courts spread throughout the picturesque Botanical Gardens.
Annie Plantin is on the board of the Swedish Boules Association, and she says that the annual competition has a central place for competitive Swedish boules players and leagues.
"The Swedish Championships is the biggest competition in Sweden. It is also the place where people who play boules come to meet each other and that is why it is always popular to come here," Plantin said.
To many, boules seems like a casual sport, but tournament organizer Patrick Roselin, from Örsundsbro Sportklubb, says that to the players here it's very serious competition.
"They play very hard matches from the opening to the final. They play in the evening, yesterday it started at 7 p.m. and they played until midnight. It was a very important match and the winning team won 13-11," Roselin said.
Jessica Johansson is one of the best boules players in Sweden. She is now 25, and began playing boules seriously at age six. And over the years, she's won 12 gold medals at Swedish Championships and has even won a gold at the European competition and a bronze earlier this year at the World Championships.
"I have practically been born into it, because my parents, grandparents and uncle played," she told Radio Sweden.