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.
Spectators observing while Jim Northcott gave a running commentary about the game
Keith McLeod and Jim Northcott
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.
Barbara and Jim Barbey from Tamborine Mt CC watch Beryl Phillips from Southport in action.
Julia Vickers sending a ball through Gate 1 watched by the Referee, Margaret Barnard.
Eunice Frater is sending a ball through Gate 2 while Trudy Cummins and Beryl Turner watch on.
Julia Vickers is checking on the time while Keith McLeod is explaining the next play to Robert Smillie.