Australian Gateball Championships Day 1
Today, the first day of the Australian Gateball Championship was held under a miraculously blue sky!
Those on the coast preparing for the event had been anxiously weather watching. At a meeting at the centre on Wednesday, contingencies considered included using tapes and delaying the start to Friday midday. However, the weather changed and as the GA team arrived at the venue on Thursday, the courts had already been painted by centre staff! All that was required was for gate and goal pole positions to be marked.
The rainy weather had posed major challenges for several participants. Some driving up from down south had experienced delays due to the closure of the Pacific Highway and one NSW couple passed cars with water up to their windows and had to divert though Beaudesert, well inland of the venue.
As well as weather setbacks, sickness affected one of our teams and replacements had to be found in a hurry.
Friday began with three rounds of the knockout inaugural Australian Open Doubles. Participants are looking forward to Saturday’s semi finals between the mother and son pairing of Maxine and Alec Maclachlan and Glen and Kristina Whitehead . On the other side of the draw, Ruth Mulvaney and David Hughes of the Macs take on Andrew Davies and Ralph Richardson of Canberra.
The rest of the day involved all teams in individual practice games and two practice games against teams they would not face in their respective pools in the teams competition. Well received coaching and refereeing sessions were also conducted.
The surface of the Gold Coast Performance Centre provided a special challenge, which our leading doubles teams managed to adapt to better than most.
At the opening ceremony late in the day, 100 players stood in traditional team line ups and balls were stroked through the ceremonial gate. Rob Molhoek, MLA for Southport, Pat Habner, CAQ President, Greg Bury, Manager ACA Academy and Jim Nichols, ACA President, did not miss a shot. Jim Nichols impressed us all with a backwards between the legs shot worthy of Nick Kyrios (without the tantrums!) A BBQ meal provided at the Centre completed the day.