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Pick up a mallet… and challenge yourself


Australia Day is a time to celebrate all the great things about this nation.

But, in 2023, it’s also an opportunity to tackle something new.

The Toronto Croquet Club is inviting everyone, young and young-at-heart, to see why its sport is played by so many people worldwide.

And, on Thursday 26 January, you’ll get a chance to find out first-hand at Rathmines Park in Lake Macquarie.

The organisation is hosting a “Come and Try” event between 10am and 3pm, with a free sausage sizzle and ticket in the prize draw for all participants.

“If anyone’s looking for a different fun activity, which will improve your health without hard work, then croquet is for you,” publicity officer Liz McDonald said.

“Seriously, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

“There are many benefits – it’s easy to learn and a great way to meet people.

“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.”

The Toronto Croquet Club also hosts junior days. Photo: Rod Thompson

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 very tactical, more brain than brawn,” McDonald said.

“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.

“That’s also its appeal.”

During Seniors Week next month, 11 croquet clubs throughout the Hunter are also scheduled to stage “Come and Try” days.

Those interested will receive free tuition, as well as equipment, and refreshments.

To register, and check further details, contact your nearest club:

  • Sunday 5 February (9am): EDSACC (The Entrance Sports Complex) 0419 432 905
  • Monday 6 February (9am): Cessnock 0425 355 492
  • Monday 6 February (9am): Maitland 0408 221 398
  • Tuesday 7 February (9am): Branxton 0428 387 635
  • Tuesday 7 February (9am): Toronto 0429 659 990
  • Wednesday 8 February (9am): Moonan 0407 235 687
  • Wednesday 8 February (9am): Pelican 0417 667 878
  • Thursday 9 February (9am): Mt Sugarloaf (West Wallsend) 0438 586 655
  • Saturday 11 February (9am): Myall Park (Hawks Nest) 0409 443 586
  • Sunday 12 February (11.30am): Nelson Bay 0476 158 555
  • Sunday 12 February (10am): Newcastle National Park 0420 963 719

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