Congratulations Beryl Holmes, OAM

Beryl Award

The Gateball community wishes to congratulate Beryl Holmes for her Australia Day award of a Medal in the Order of Australia.

Most of us know Beryl as a player in McIlwraith teams, where she has been a member for over 20 years. She has been, and still is, a passionate advocate for our game. She has not been unknown to accost passers-by and encourage them to give Gateball a go. She is always ready with advice and assistance. She is responsible for playing a major role in educating the first member of the current Canberra Gateball Team,when he first walked through Auchenflower and saw the game in action!

Beryl’s award was for services to the community and women’s organisations. She was a founding member of Children by Choice in 1972, served in a number of roles and is a life member. She has counselled women with unwanted pregnancies and has served in a number of prominent women’s advocacy organisations. She has been a long term member of the Queenland Council for Civil Liberties and was a made a life member of that organisation too. Much of her service in these organisations was at a time when the political climate in Queensland would have made her campaigning a challenging task.

Beryl Aus Day

Beryl never rests from her advocacy. She continues to argue that we should use the term ‘mallet sports’ because it is inclusive. Any off hand reference to the ‘Ladies’ at McIlwraith is always addressed. Beryl is the first to try to support those with physical disabilities wishing to continue to play the game.No doubt she is looking forward to a day when at least fifty percent of recipients of the award she obtained are women too. I have no doubt that in some way she has already started campaigning for that!

Love comes to Lithgow

Lithgow gateball compLove was in the air when Lithgow Croquet Club staged its first ever gateball competition over the Valentine’s Day weekend.

With seven teams in the competition, organisers were faced with a challenge to schedule a full two-day competition. After the seven team round robin games were completed, a modified 7 team seeded double elimination was played.

The winning Mountain Mallets

The winners – Mountain Mallets

The final saw Mountain Mallets (a composite team of Lithgow, Blue Mountains and a Jamberoo player) facing the Jamberoo team. Jamberoo started strongly and Mountain Mallets seemed very much the underdogs. More by accident than design 3 members of the local team failed to enter the field of play in the first two rounds. Skilfully, Penny Park played tight to the line with ball six and held that position as her team mates rallied round to capitalise on the advantage she had won in controlling gate two. The game remained very tight with the Mallets team scraping an 8-7 win.

JamberooThe Jamberoo team were strengthened by young Queenslander, David Hughes. His in-game coaching of Jamberoo captain Manuel Gutierez was acknowledged by the Jamberoo team who thanked him for driving down to play with them.

Lithgow Lightnings, a team including a majority of players who have only taken up the game in the last nine months, put in ever more creditable performances as the weekend progressed. Having been drubbed by Canberra in Saturday’s game, the Lightnings recovered on Sunday and only lost to Canberra by three points. Their final game against the eventual winners was again close, with the Lightnings losing by a similarly small margin.

“The Lithgow club has been working hard to improve the quality of its lawns,” said club president Cindy Houston, “We were delighted that our first competition was such a success and look forward to many more in the future.”

Prime7 TV even came along to see the action. Here’s the news clip.


Canberra Visitors in Hong Kong

Dave Roberts from Canberra recently visited Hong Kong and was keen to have a taste of gateball at a local club. Here’s his story.

HK VisitWe took the MTR from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station to Kwai Fung in the New territories. Samuel Fung (middle red check shirt) and his friend (far left blue sweater) met us at the MTR. Then we went by bus to the activities park where there are two gateball courts which are also used for junior soccer. The grass is greener and longer than Canberra so the court was slower and more bumpy.

There are more than 1000 gateball players with 11 courts around HK but then there are 7 million in Hong Kong.

Sam and the guy on the far right in a red cap are both very good players. The club president is in the centre of the photo.  More people turned up after this photo was taken.  I’m afraid to say I embarrassed the Canberra gateball standings in 3 games in HK. There were a couple of very good players. I think one of them managed to spark all the opponent’s balls off during his turn.

Anyway it was fun. The rules are slightly different as they can keep going round the hoops.** Also some of them have mallets which are only legal in China – 1 end is flat vertical as normal but the other end is sloped back which puts back spin on the ball and you can hit a ball and yours will stop or reverse.

I played three games before Josie and I had to leave and return to the hotel to go to a symphony concert. Josie plays GC croquet but has never tried Gateball so she sat out and talked to some interesting people.

It was great fun and everyone was very friendly.

Dave Roberts

** Comment from Maggi. These different rules must explain why the timers currently being sold in Australia count up to 25 for each ball!

Ipswich Gateball wins award

GateballOn Saturday 23rd January Ipswich Gateball Club was presented with an Australia Day Medallion Award for our services to the community. The award was presented by Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr Cheryl Bromage. We were nominated for this award by Cr Bromage for conducting competitions in the Ipswich area and thereby bringing visitors to our city.

At a ceremony conducted at the Ipswich Civic Centre, three of our club representatives were presented with the medallion and each member was given a special Australia Day Ipswich City badge which we will all proudly wear.

by Adele Stokes

Jamberoo Gateball Linemarking System

lines 1lines 2Linemarking is a time consuming necessity for gateball and at Jamberoo CC gateballers wanted to make it a simpler and quicker process. An old linemarker designed for using small pressure pack cans was found in our equipment shed. It was destined for the dump. A rescue mission was put into place by Manuel Gutierrez. Manuel likes to fiddle. And so he began, firstly modifying the machine and then adding an electric spray gun. The result MG #1

Now to make the lines straight and run parallel to the white croquet lines an acquisition of a conveyer belt was made (free via Gumtree)

Now the process goes like this. (For a printable version of the instructions, click here)

Roll out the conveyor belt

Run marker along belt whilst spraying

Remove the belt and reveal perfectly straight lines with great coverage

Add the final touches

by Manuel and Glenda Gutierrez