On 19 March 2017 sixteen Canberra members participated in the club’s annual gateball competition. The Tavender Trophy is a high-low doubles event where one experienced gateballer in randomly drawn with a newer gateballer.
Five brave members had only started gateball lessons four weeks prior and were competing in their first tournament. Canberra ran two weeks of lessons for new players to introduce the skills and understanding needed to compete in the event.
Pairs were split into two blocks and the competition proceeded quickly to a superbly catered lunch by Margot Morris. One game included a rare double touch resulting in a touched ball coming to rest with the player’s ball (Article 16, clause 2, paragraph 3 of the rules) which kept the referees busy.
The block winners were Bryan Johnston and Peter Dale who were unbeaten in Block A and Alex Park and Janice Rudd who were unbeaten in Block B. Peter and Janice were both playing in their first competition. The final was close until Bryan hit a 15m touch from corner 1 to a ball in front of gate 2 to set up the 13-9 win. After the match Peter Tavender presented the trophy to the winners.
The Tavender Trophy is named after Peter in recognition of his role in supporting the introduction of gateball into Australia and to acknowledge Peter’s status as Canberra’s first gateballer when he represented Australia in the 1998 World Gateball Championship in Hawaii.
The Canberra Croquet Club hopes that the new players will continue to play gateball and compete in events outside the club.