Marion Davies is the toast of the Toronto Croquet Club after being presented the state’s highest honour in the sport, the Golden Mallet Award.
Each year, Croquet NSW recognises an individual within its ranks for their outstanding contribution to the game.
And, on this occasion, Marion impressed the selection panel, along with Urunga’s Barb Piggott.
“It was a great surprise,” she said.
“It’s nice to be acknowledged in this kind of way.
“Apparently, there was a big list of nominees.
“I know some of them and what they’ve done.
“For example, Barb [Piggott] formulated a new coaching system.
“So, to be in that sort of company – and win – is very humbling.
“But, I have to thank the members here at Toronto, they’ve been great.
“To win an award, you don’t do it on your own.
“They’ve supported me along the way; that’s what makes the difference.
“I firmly believe this [Golden Mallet] is a club honour.”
After joining the Toronto organisation in 2014, Marion assumed the role of president 12 months later – a position she held until just recently.
During this time, the club has increased its membership and, with her encouragement, contests all disciplines of mallet sports.
She also initiated croquet as a school sport with Toronto High and Charlton Christian College, while introducing it into the University of the Third Age curriculum.
On top of that, Marion liaised with Lake Macquarie City Council to introduce an over 55’s program and another initiative to include young people with a disability.
There is now a small group with their carers playing on a regular basis.
It’s just one of the many things she’s brought to the organisation, according to Allan Graham, who nominated Marion for the award.
“She’s been a true champion in the progression of croquet in the Hunter region with her initiative in the areas of school activities, inclusion of the members of the community with disabilities, the establishment of the annual Lake Macquarie Games, her involvement in the Hunter Regional Group, the willingness to accept the role of the MPIO in our club, the keenness to host the NSW Gateball Championships and be involved with the National Championships and Interstate Shield,” he said.
“Not satisfied with these achievements, Marion has become a Level 2 coach and referee in gateball, Level 2 coach and a referee-in-training for croquet golf.
“She’s represented Toronto in various competitions throughout the state.
“What can you say – she’s a truly committed croquet player and administrator.
“Even now, Marion is taking the role of coordinator in preparing a case for Toronto to become a ‘hub in the Hunter region’.”
- 2017 to 2020: Encouraged members to attend and support the Lake Macquarie Living Smart Festival as a means of showcasing croquet to the general population of the Hunter region
- 2017 to 2021: Active member of Toronto croquet relocation committee in the club’s endeavours to obtain stand-alone facilities for croquet in Lake Macquarie
- 2018: Welcomed visitors from all over Australia at the National Golf Croquet Championships and the Interstate Shield Competition
- 2018 to 2021: Initiated junior croquet days during the school holidays in collaboration with Jackie McDonald
- 2019 to 2021: Obtained Level 2 referee and Level 2 coaching status in gateball
- 2019 to 2020: Instigated changes in the club constitution with emphasis on policies, roles and responsibilities of committee members
- 2019 to 2021: Appointed member Protection Information Officer (MPIO)
- 2020 to 2021: Obtained Level 1 and 2 coaching in golf croquet and is a golf referee in training
- 2020 to 2021: Chair Hunter Region Croquet Group
- 2021: Welcomed visitors to the NSW Gateball Championships and competed herself
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