A small but committed field competed in the Victorian Gateball Championships at the Victorian Croquet Centre over the weekend of 27-29 April.
As well as the Victorian teams, we had competitors from Canberra and, for the first time as a standalone team, the Woodville team from South Australia. The absence of our Queensland friends was again felt – but with a new date for next year’s tournament of the last weekend in March (28-31) the clash with the Rockhampton event has, hopefully, been resolved.
At the opening of the event, Ruth Duffy, the Victorian Coordinator of Coaching, presented Philip Brown with his level 1 coaching certificate. Ruth, Philip and National coordinator of Gateball, John Park, have combined to ensuring that Philip is accredited to deliver the Level 1 Gateball coaching endorsement in Victoria. Ruth also hit the ball through the ceremonial first hoop – scoring a gate-touch to boot.
A feature of the Victorian Championships is the number of younger players who enjoy the event. It is always great to see Tim and son, Robert , participating in the pairs event. Their distinguishing flat caps added distinction and class to a disparate array of team uniforms. Anthony Dask, now a first year Agriculture student at university still shows his trademark flamboyant enthusiasm for the game. He still insists that he regularly watches Japanese gateball on TV every week prefers to referee in Japanese! Geoff and Trish Crook and their two sons from SA completed the younger competing cohort this tournament. (Though Freya was called upon at the last minute to add frizz to the medal presentations – see the photos.) Can any other state match this excellent participation rate for younger players?
This year, for the first time in 5 years, the Victorian Championships were won by a Victorian team. Congratulations to Kew, for their first in in their home competition since 2012. The runners-up were Essendon, who were also the only team to best Kew in the double round-robin.
In the pairs, the lure of the second presentation of the John Bradley Pairs Championship proved a strong motivator. The final was contested between Philip Brown & Kerry Seipolt and their Victorian counterparts Gilon Smith & Anthony Dask. A see-sawing final was eventually won by Philip & Kerry 13-11, thanks to a faint nick on the goal-pole at the 29th minute. John’s partner Elaine shared some memories of John and presented the pairs medals in his honour.
We hope to see you all at the next Victorian Championships in March 2019 – or the Nationals to be held from 29 November to 1 December 2019. As the competitors this year can attest, we can promise you warm, delightful weather here in Melbourne… at some stage during the tournament!