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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Croquet’s on the ball, says Liz

If you haven’t played a game of croquet before, then you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

That’s the message from Toronto publicity officer Liz McDonald, who’s hoping to welcome a new influx of members to the many clubs within the Hunter region.

For the uninitiated, croquet is a sport that involves hitting wooden or plastic balls with a mallet through hoops embedded in a grass playing court.

It’s also an activity which will boost your fun, friendships and fitness, according to McDonald.

“I’ll admit, not many people know about the sport,” she said.

“So, now’s the time to discover croquet – and challenge yourself.

“It’s not like running a marathon or riding a mountain bike, however it gets you walking in the fresh air, talking and thinking.

“In fact, it’s a very tactical sport; more brain than brawn.

“It is like a game of chess but with mallets and balls.

“You need to think three moves ahead or what the next person will do.”

Photo: Peter Stoop

McDonald’s own organisation, Toronto, boasted a membership of 80 prior to COVID-19.

And, while numbers remain strong, she’s keen to see more newcomers to the fold.

“Croquet caters for all ages,” she said.

“At our club, the range is between 50 and 90-odd years.

“One man is 94 – he’s as sharp as a tack, and extremely difficult to beat.

“However, be warned, it can be extremely competitive and addictive.

“It also comes in different shapes and sizes; from croquet golf to gate ball, association croquet to ricochet.

“You can be spirited or social, too – it’s totally up to you.

“But, it certainly hooks you in.

“You just want to get better every time you take to the court.

“The highest participation rate is in the discipline croquet golf, which is played socially at all clubs.

“So, pop in, try it out and see which variety you enjoy the most.

“Maybe it will be all of the above things.

“Even better, you can play five times a week or just once; it’s up to the individual.

“However, I promise you one thing, you’ll come back again.”

For further information, contact the club near you: