Croquet club welcomes new players

Te Anau Croquet Club members during one of its club playing days.

THE croquet season is about to start for many clubs throughout Southland with Te Anau Croquet Club games starting on Saturday.

The club, established in 2006 by Edith Gray, will hold its first games at the club greens at Te Anau Sports Domain (by the rugby club) from 1.30pm.

Club spokeswoman Julie Bateman said when Mrs Gray first put out the call for members 15 years ago, eight people turned up.

“Now the current membership is over 20,” she said.

In the early years of the club, different venues were used for play.

Te Anau Club grounds were used from 2007-2009, then founding member Douglas Fowle set up a home croquet course for play to continue until the new croquet greens on Dusky St were completed and ready for play in 2011.

Mrs Bateman said the club was open to players of all ages, from school pupils to senior citizens.

“Someone that wants to learn a new sport and have some fun. The club will provide the equipment.”

The club plays golf croquet, both socially and competitively and takes part in Southland croquet interclub challenges.

Golf croquet is played as singles or doubles and each game can take about 40 minutes.

“It is a fun game, especially for newcomers.

“Members and guests can play either competitively or socially or both.”

The club was always happy to welcome players and coach newcomers to develop the various skills for croquet, she said.

The club plays weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays from 1.30pm, and held at least one open day per season with the first open day being held on Saturday, October 2, she said.

Mrs Bateman said the commitment of sponsors had seen the game and the facilities develop and grow with the most recent addition of an equipment shed.

“It goes without saying that the club also thanks and appreciates the efforts of all its members, their families and friends, who have worked tirelessly over the years to develop the club, and the time-consuming efforts on these projects.”