Happy New Year to all Gateballers!
The new year sees some changes in our game. This is an update about a new club at Deception Bay in Queensland, changes in personnel and some background on our coordinators and initiators.
The New Club. Ros, the new President, has provided the following information: “We are excited to announce the recently formed Deception Bay Gateball Club and that we will commence play on the 3rd January 2018 at The Deception Bay Club greens at 32 Bayview Terrace, Deception Bay Queensland. Deception Bay Gateball Club plays Monday and Wednesday nights (excl public holidays).
We have been welcomed by The Deception Bay Club committee and volunteers who have created beautiful greens, including marking out the gateball courts for us. The additional feature of flood lights makes this a perfect venue for summer and winter gateball. There is also the bonus of a community club to enjoy food and beverages following the games. This is a family friendly venue.
“We have chosen to create a club that plays evening gateball to better suit the Queensland climate and to encourage players from all age groups, including those who work and have family commitments on weekends. We are keen to attract junior members over time.
“We have been blessed with support from Geoff Morris from Redcliffe Gateball Club, Jennifer Morris from Eildon Croquet Club and Barbara Northcott who provided their guidance and support in getting the processes in place to commence the club. Geoff has kindly loaned the club a full gateball kit to get us started. We also hope to have Redcliffe gateball players come to share their skills and coach others as we expand the club.
“We have had some preliminary games and the club has already attracted some new members from other clubs who frequent The Deception Bay Club such as the Deception Bay Darts Club.
“We have a wonderful logo designed by Maddie Crowe and have our new uniforms with the logo embroidered. We look forward to wearing our designs and playing as The Deception Bay Diamonds when the time comes to enter competitions. For now we will continue with evening play and hopefully as the days get cooler we may expand to some Sunday afternoon sessions”
New coordinators in Queensland are State Director of Gateball, Barbara while husband Jim takes the new role as Assistant. Margaret Barnard takes on a new role coordinating refereeing in the State. Some details about these new incumbents are listed below
Margaret Barnard has played all codes of mallet sports and started playing gateball about 10 years ago. She has been an international referee for 4 years so is well suited to her new role. She recently acted as tournament referee at the 2017 Australian Gateball Championships in Bateau Bay. Margaret and husband Barry retired to Broadbeach having previously been business owners in Melbourne. Margaret has plenty of previous experience in voluntary organisations having been an ‘Akela’ in a scout troup in Melbourne where she joined alongside her three sons.
Barbara Northcott: After a career spanning 40 years as a teacher and working in QLD, ACT, NSW, China, Lithuania and Japan, Barbara chose to spend her golden years in her home state of QLD. She played competitive hockey until she was 55 representing her state as a youth, adult and veteran. Always involved with coaching and umpiring of hockey, she found it easy to settle into the croquet world where many aspects of the sport were similar to hockey. Barbara joined Southport Croquet Club in 2006.
Barbara plays association croquet with a handicap presently at four and golf croquet with a 3 handicap. Barbara was very pleased to begin playing gateball at Southport in 2007 (with Keith McLeod the visiting coach) because she had seen the game played in Japan. She went with the Southport Gateball team to the World Gateball Championships at Shanghai in China in 2010 and to Niigata, Japan in 2014. Barbara also played in the Asian Championships in Macau in 2012, in the British Championship in 2015 and the Asian Championship Namwon in South Korea in 2016. Vitally interested in attracting people to sport, she enjoys coaching in all codes of croquet and has devoted many hours to coaching school students.
Jim Northcott A.M.Jim has been a soldier in both the British and Australian Army with service in Germany and two tours to Vietnam. He represented both the British and Australian armies in hockey and qualified as a state level coach and umpire. While in the army one of the highlights was his appointment as Chief Marshal of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane 1982. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1983. Retiring as a major, he took on the role as QLD Director of Australia Day celebrations for 10 years during which time he was also the Chief Marshal of the Brisbane ANZAC Day parades. Joining Southport Croquet Club in 2006, Jim played all the codes but specialises in ricochet because it is easier on his body with arthritis causing problems.
Barbara and Jim have thoroughly enjoyed their trips overseas playing gateball and regularly play in Japan where they visit their family twice a year. Through their friendships at WGU they play in competitions in Tokyo, Nagoya and Matsumoto.
They are both qualified as Level 1 coaches for all codes of mallet sports, and Level 2 referees for gateball.
These three new incumbents are replacing Bruce McAlister who has stepped down after a long stint as Queensland’s Gateball Director. The fact that the role is to be divided amongst three people is a credit to the amount of work that Bruce has uncomplainingly shouldered for over a decade. Gateballers throughout the country owe a debt of gratitude to Bruce for all the work he has done. Thanks Bruce.
In NSW, Mary Dunn is taking over as the Chair in CNSW. In the early days of gateball in Australia, the game was run by a primarily Sydney based committee and the coordinator in that state is always referred to as the Chair. Mary relishes the chance of giving it a go. She started playing gateball when players accompanying the CNSW GB coordinator visited Nowra in 2011 where she was a player at the time. Many CNSW gateballers remember calling “foot first” whenever Mary showed a sign of wanting to kick the balls together.
Previous CNSW Gateball Chairs, Kerrie Sutherland and Judy Squelch, have stepped back from their joint post as Co-Chairs of gateball for CNSW. They took over the role in 2015 and have been appreciated for the calm and methodical way they have approached the role.
Kerrie says she only started playing the game in late 2009. She tells us that on 28th Dec 2009 Gilon came to her club – that was her first attempt at gateball. Newcastle National Park Club started playing on a Saturday afternoon but Kerrie worked so could not play. In July 2011 she had holidays and she did play one Saturday. She went home, downloaded the rules, read them and then downloaded the tactics. 3 months later she played in the Australian Championships at her club in 2011. She had a few months off due to major surgery and then played at Mosman in the 2012 NSW Championships. From then on she has played as much as she is able (still working 4 days a week).
Judy started at the same time as Kerrie and the pair have worked together for several years. Judy is currently facing some health issues, still plays gateball and we hope she will soon be back to the best of health.
Kerrie and Judy are both qualified coaches and referees and have had great success in encouraging and developing enthusiam for the game in the Hunter Region. During their time as coordinators CNSW has settled into a pattern of regular club and state competitions which are well attended by all clubs. Relations with CNSW have always been cordial and the state claims a special record. Over at least the past 10 years, every Chair/President of CNSW has played in a state or national gateball competition while in office!
Thanks for all your work Kerrie and Judy.
Glenda and Manuel Gutierrez will be assisting Mary as Gateball Referee Coordinators for CNSW. They took on this role to ease the burden on the State Chair. Glenda and Manuel play at the Jamberoo club where the game was introduced after players from the club gave the game a try at a CNSW Gala Day in early 2012. Manuel’s talks during CNSW comps keep all participants up to date with interpretations of the rules and the correct actions that referees should be taking. His attention to detail suits him for this role. He and Glenda organised the equipment for the 2017 Nationals, and, before the games began, not only did they check the courts but also took great care in checking that all equipment was of the correct size. Manuel takes refereeing seriously; he states that he does not like to see games won or lost because of poor refereeing or courts not set up correctly.
In South Australia, lead club Woodville, where Trish Fazackerley and Geoff Crook play, continue to promote the game. Hyde Park club now has regular playing sessions. Gateball’s contact on the ACA board, Hon Sec has is an enthusiastic advocate and is working with Croquet SA to hold a doubles event which we all hope will be supported by players from other states.
Murray and Kerry Loane – In WA, at East Fremantle, Murray Loane has organised two playing sessions each week. Murray and Kerry Loane started playing gateball a few years ago. They visited the Blue Mountains and Jamberoo and started playing at Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands of NSW.
NSW Gateball lost touch with Kerry and Murray as they moved to WA but on a quick trip to visit with grandchildren in NSW, Kerry and Murray met John and Penny at a McDonald’s eatery on the Hume Highway at Sutton Forest. A chat over chips resulted in Kerry and Murray buying enough gear to introduce gateball to East Fremantle Croquet Club. Some ACA gear has also been loaned.
Their challenge is to get a nucleus of players with at least basic knowledge.
According to Murray, the game is totally unknown in WA. All, and any, ideas are welcomed by him. Any visitors to the west could get in touch and lend a hand.
Kerry and Murray only claim they have limited experience but they are keen and are, at the moment, the most experienced gateball players west of the Nullabor.
East Fremantle Croquet Club is totally behind the planned introduction. They have been invited to Croquet WA meetings in Jan and Feb, as gateball representatives. Those meetings are to ponder ways to encourage younger players to mallet sports.
At Fremantle, they have 12-13 players. (only counting those who have returned on a third occasion). A Sportsmans’ club north of the river is their next ‘area of interest’. They have lawns under-used by bowls and are looking for other ways to bring in members.
“I thought you might like to contact them and suggest gateball, Murray,”, said a nice lady from Croquet WA. Naturally they accepted the challenge.
Anyone reading this article is encouraged to send Murray anything and everything that might help with the sales pitch to Inaloo Sportsmens’ Club.
Philip Brown continues as the Coordinator in Victoria. He tells us…
“My role is the Gateball Director for Victoria. This involves promoting the game to new players and new clubs, and organising the Victorian Championships each year (normally the last weekend of April).
“I came to gateball in Canberra. I had just moved to Canberra to start a new job and was a 30-ish year old looking to meet some like-minded people. A school friend who also lived in Canberra told me that there were quite a few people playing a game called gateball down at the croquet club on Sunday afternoons. So I came down one afternoon to join them.
“I am a mathematician, of sorts, and I work in the research department of a major bank. I am attracted to the ‘board game’ aspect of gateball, with the richness of tactics and strategies it offers. I am also an amateur thespian, when I can find the time to do it.
I have two children, Freya (nearly 5) and Rhydian (18 months) who can often be found underfoot at the tournaments…. ”
Philip is a level 2 referee and has recently qualified as a level 1 coach.
John Park continues as National Coordinator and thanks all previous and continuing incumbents for their previous efforts. He welcomes new volunteers to their roles and looks forward to working with them. John started playing at McIwraith in Brisbane when son Alex presented him with a stick and said, “Here you are Dad, you’ll enjoy this.” He did and has now been playing for 10 years. Moving to the Blue Mountains in 2011 John and Penny introduced the game and now play at Lithgow. After a few years as Chair of CNSW gateball John took on the national role at the beginning of 2015. He has thoroughly enjoyed playing overseas in the UK, France, Hong Kong and Korea. He looks forward to working with as wide a group of volunteers as possible to promote the game in Australia. He is particularly excited about the growth of the game in SA and WA and hopes that visiting gateballers from the Eastern states will call in for a game at clubs who have recently started playing. Expertise would be welcomed.