Sydney Epstars gathered at Epping recently to celebrate their win at the recent CNSW Teams Gateball Championship, unveil their plans for 2019 (click here) and to welcome the return to the club of Epstars stalwart Clare Poole after a spell in hospital.
Players from Newcastle, Toronto and Lithgow joined the Epstars core players from Epping, Eastwood, Killara and Strathfield for one of Epping’s renowned spreads. At the centre of the table were the teams (Epstars) and doubles (Lithgow) trophies from the the recent CNSW championships. It was noted that this was the first time that NSW teams had won both trophies at the same time. In the past, the winners of both events have, primarily, been from Canberra and overseas.
On the following Wednesday, Mosman had organised for John and Penny Park to visit, in order to provide some Gateball instruction. Mosman had been awarded a significant grant by their local council. They have purchased new equipment and hope to engage more fully with the wider Gateball community.They have their sights set on overseas competition in a couple of years.
With Mosman on the move and Epstars having done well at Bateau Bay in the 2017 Australian Championships and at the 2018 CNSW Teams Championship, Sydney is on track to make a statement at the 2019 Australian Gateball Championships, to be held in Cairnlea, Melbourne from 29th November to 1st December 2019.
Because of some enthusiasm for learning about Gateball had occurred among other clubs in the Gold Coast Tweed Region, a demonstration game was scheduled after lunch at the Gold Coast Tweed Regional Christmas Party held at Burleigh Heads Palm Beach Croquet Club. Not many croquet players had even seen a full game or had even tried to swing a Gateball stick or to play a game. A full court was set up, equipment explained and scoreboard was in place.
Jim Northcott, Assistant Director of Gateball in QLD provided a commentary. Margaret Barnard, the Director of Gateball Refereeing, was the Referee. Players from Tamborine Mountain, Broadbeach and Southport Clubs were placed into two teams captained by Julia Vickers or by Keith McLeod. With so many years of experience by these players, it was a good game for the spectators. After the demonstration game these spectators were able to experience the game of Gateball for the first time.
As a result of this interest next year there will be a monthly afternoon Gateball sessions for anyone in the region who wishes to come along to learn or to continue playing games of Gateball. Many thanks to Robert Smillie from Coolangatta CC for offering that club as the venue. Barbara and Jim Northcott will be arranging the sessions.
At the recent Caloundra Gateball event, Peter Sweet of the Southport Red Team achieved a remarkable first for Gateball in Australia. In a practice session, Peter took just the minimum 4 strokes from the Start Area to Agari!
Since the start of Gateball in Australia in 1996, I have been offering a bottle of French Champagne to the first person to achieve a 4 stroke Start Area to Agari. Now Peter has claimed both the Champagne and the honour of the achievement. Peter said that the superb condition of the Caloundra courts contributed to his success.
Peter received his award and the Champagne at the regular Tuesday twilight Gateball session at the Southport Croquet Club.
28 November 2018
On Saturday, 10th and Sunday morning of the 11th November there were nine teams assembled at Caloundra to participate in the annual Masters and Apprentices Gateball Teams and Tournament. Clubs or individual players that were represented were Capricorn Coast, Caloundra, Deception Bay, Eildon, Ipswich, McIlwraith, Redcliffe, Rockhampton, Southport and Toowoomba. For quite a few players, from both ends of the age spectrum, this was their first time to compete at this Tournament. It is always good to welcome new players.
The organisation by the Tournament Manager, Glenda Windust, was very good. The club members of Caloundra Mallet Sports Club ensured the courts were in tip top condition and the food supply was excellent. Just prior to the 11:00 a.m. Remembrance Day Ceremony, Vietnam veteran, Jim Northcott A.M., gave a moving speech recalling the sacrifice by so many people world wide in all wars. One hundred years since the 1918 Armistice was foremost in everyone’s consciousness.
The Capricorn Coast team that was travelling away to compete for the first time were very competitive and hopefully will be inspired to enter more Tournaments. Also the newish team, Deception Bay, gained some more experience in competitions. Two of their team – Ros Crowe and Keith Chur-Hansen were presented with their badges since they have qualified as level 2 Referees.
By the end of the teams section, there were 3 teams that had each achieved 6 wins. Then a review of the net gates scored placed Redcliffe in first place followed by the strong Southport contingent- Southport Red (2nd) and Southport White (3rd).
The Doubles Competition was held on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. Two Blocks of four teams played off. Block A was won by Peter Sweet and Bruce McAlister. Lynne Farry and Margaret Gall had a clean sweep of Block B. In the Finals of the Gateball Doubles, Peter and Bruce won. Lynne and Margaret were 2nd and Frances Wregg and Helen Donaldson came 3rd.