The future of croquet is in good hands if the Toronto club’s junior program is anything to go by.
More than 30 youngsters, aged nine and upwards, took part in the annual event at Ron Hill Oval on Monday 18 January – much to the delight of local president Marion Davies.
“We usually host it during the school holidays,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we can’t use the grounds after 4pm [on a school day] or on weekends, although students from Toronto High and Charlton Christian College play croquet as one of their sports.
“So, this is the best time for those who are interested.
“On average, we get between 10 and 15 kids.
“But, today, the number’s easily surpassed that – it’s our most successful one to date.
“It’s wonderful to see the young, smiling faces as they arrive.”
Davies admitted croquet not only offered the children a unique challenge, it also provided them with an opportunity to use “brain over brawn”.
“It’s great for kids who don’t particularly like contact sport,” she said.
“And, for the mathematically-minded ones, it tests them, too.
“It is such a tactical game.
“Plus, days like this open the door for a whole new generation.
“We’d love to run the junior program all the time if it was possible.”
The participants, mentored by the Toronto Croquet Club’s experienced regular members, were also split into six groups, tackling a different activity, from skills drills to trick shots.
Afterwards they partook in a game of “pirates” before a normal round of croquet.
“It’s a fabulous [concept],” said Maitland-based Australian and NSW junior coordinator Jackie McDonald, who lent a hand as well.
“And, it is fantastic that people are being introduced to the game at such a young age.”
If you’re keen to learn more, contact Marion Davies at [email protected]