Would you believe it!? We have had over seventy different people play croquet on our lawns this year! Not bad given we had a membership of just fourteen at the start of the season. We opened up the lawns to our neighbours and friends, and acquired six new members during the season!
We have played a lot more GC (golf croquet) this year, and this is the generally accepted route in to playing croquet these days. It’s a good fun game, but it can be as competitive and mentally challenging as AC. We entered a team into the SECF competitions and had a great time visiting several clubs including Wimbledon (at the All England Club). Our new members are playing GC and so are our guests. Tennis players must have wondered why there are so many people standing on the croquet lawn, and why are they all laughing and enjoying themselves? Drop your rackets, come on over and find out!
Simon Charrington was our most improved player, and he joins Steve Edney and Roger Stearn as 12 handicap AC players. Certainly the consistency of Roger and Simon led to us “retaining” the SECF B League (we won it in 2019, and of course the competition was cancelled in 2021).
We have received many compliments about the lawn. It certainly is looking nice and green, and it is playing quite well too. Thanks to income from grants and from guest events, we have spent a little bit more than usual on treatments and equipment. Our aim is to make our lawn faster so, instead of using brute strength, anyone can hit a ball from one boundary to another (if that’s the shot to play). We will not get to the standards of the richer Croquet clubs but its good to have this as a target.
Our target next year is to have even more fun, and to actively encourage local people and ESC members of other sports to come and give croquet a go. You are always welcome.
Here are some photos from the year: