If you read the replies to articles on this site you may have noticed that one person comments regularly and that’s Surinder Singh. But who is Surinder Singh, where is he from and does he play gateball? Well the super sleuths in Gateball Australia decided to find out.
After much investigation the mystery man was found. Surinder Singh lives in Haryana in Northern India and here’s his story.
Hi. My name is Surinder Singh. I currently work as a mathematics teacher living in in Haryana India.
It is a matter of prestige for me to be associated with gateball. Gateball has brought a tremendous change in my life with lots of new experiences. It is my pleasure to share my story of how I play gateball so this might help and encourage a lot of people to play.
I play for Haryana Gateball Organisation. I play twice or thrice a week on weekends. I started playing gateball in 2010 after seeing the videos on the internet. I play in competitions in India as well as around the world. I was a runner up in Indonesia Gateball 2015. I have been to one or two international tournaments like in Indonesia and I have played a national level match. I also teach and supervise children near me playing gateball. I notice that women are less interested in playing gateball in India.
Gateball is like a fever for me. It would be a great pleasure for me to be a part of Gateball Australia and maybe one day play there.
Thank you so much Surinder for sharing your story. We look forward to seeing you in Australia one day.
Dennis Bulloch from the Rose Garden Croquet Club at Palmerston North in New Zealand has recently been in touch with Gateball Australia about a Gateball Tournament which will be held next year in New Zealand. The event has been posted on the WGU website . Dennis has played Gateball at Ripon in England, along with Gateball Australia’s long-standing friend and mentor, Keiichi Imagawa. He also played in Germany and wishes to hold a competition at his Croquet Club in Palmerston North. He has already made great strides, with 25 people playing Gateball at his Club!
Dennis tells us “Our gateball players are able to play three set times per week (Wednesday and Sunday at 1.00 PM and Thursday at 5.00 PM which provides competition for workers and those still at school) and some go the club to play Gateball of their own accord. We have excellent quality lawns which are quite fast and the sets of Gateball gear are in good condition. Our gateball sticks vary from ancient but serviceable to modernish but worn. Something to invest in in the near future! I’m in the process of organizing a Gymkhana based on gateball for our players. Will let you know how I get on! They seem enthusiastic about the idea.”
A fortuitous link with New Zealand has also been forged through the Southport Croquet Club. The new President of Croquet New Zealand is Kathie Grant. Many Queensland players met her because she is a member of Southport Croquet Club and played in the Mallet Sports Competition this year. Southport players are keen to participate in the NZ event and, for some, this is because they are closely connected to NZ by birth or through family members.
Previous attempts have been made to establish Gateball in New Zealand. Keiichi Imagawa recently reminded us that he visited Takapuna, New Zealand with Jun Nogami to promote Gateball in 2000 when he was the Director General of the World Gateball Union. Shortly after some NZ teams played at the Australian Gateball Championship in the early 2000s
Our next contact with NZ is recorded two posts on our website: https://gateball.com.au/wordpress/?p=2304 and https://gateball.com.au/wordpress/?p=4167
Since that time we have not heard any more and the link to the NZ GB website no longer functions.
Dennis’ recent contact and Kathie’s interest will hopefully see the game on a sound footing in NZ.
By a lucky coincidence, my 2019 European holiday was to conclude in Geneva on the Monday after the weekend of the tournament. Naturally, I thought about the possibility of participating in the event.
To check the arrangements for the championship, I contacted the event manager David Underhill of the Swiss Gateball Federation. I explained that I would be able to play on one day only. David generously agreed even though my restriction caused some inconvenience to the management of the event. So it was arranged that I attend on the Saturday.
The courts and facilities of the Club are located within the property of CERN in France. CERN’s property covers an area on the French/Swiss border close to Geneva.
I was made most welcome and introduced to the players who were from the UK, Belgium, Germany, France and Switzerland. Initially, I helped with the refereeing of doubles games.
Then David arranged for me to play a game in the Singles Knock-Out draw. I played Theo Densborn from Germany and Theo won the game 11/11 cb. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and the experience of playing in this European event.
During the lunch break, I addressed the players and promoted the 2021 Australian Gateball Championship to be held at a superb sports venue on Queensland’s Gold Coast. I invited everyone to enter and, to encourage participation, I presented the players with a City of Gold Coast cap provided by Councillor Dawn Critchlow, the patron of the Southport Croquet Club.
All the players were very friendly and welcoming. And the experience was enhanced by David’s very generous hospitality.
This was our second visit to the ‘Belt and Road’ Jinxi cup tournament and despite being on the wrong end of some gateball “lessons” last year, we travelled to the tournament optimistic that we wouldn’t place last this year. We had some excellent new team members, Barry, Ros and Judy and a bit less fear of the unknown.
As it turned out the optimism was not totally unfounded, and despite placing 16 th again, I didn’t feel we were as outclassed as last year. The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone was friendly, with the tournament being played with great spirit.
One thing that hadn’t changed was the lightning fast artificial grass lawns, and a number of times we suffered at the hands of the merciless pace. We did manage to keep our balls on in the second game and were in control for the first half until an inexplicable miss by your correspondent let the local Jinxi team in, and we ended up losing 14:9.
Our final game against Singapore attracted a large and vibrant crowd, who cheered us on, especially when a long touch by Barry took off the opposition balls. This allowed us to recover from a difficult start, and the game ended 12:12. We lost on count back, but really should have won the game – the perceived wisdom from the crowd suggests an error in strategy, but I don’t think either option was easy and sometimes you just have to pick one.
The tournament was a lot of fun and maybe we will take advantage of invites to Hong Kong and Macao next year!
Thanks to the Jiangsu Gateball Association and everyone involved in the management of the event, together with my team mates – Barry, Judy, Peter, Ros and Trish.
Woodville Croquet Club
The Swiss classic teams event was held at the CERN croquet club over the weekend 6-7 July 2019, with practice on the Friday.
Five teams competed, with 2 from Japan, 1 Swiss team and 2 composite teams. We played with Bernard from Belgium and Priska from Germany. It was also great to see our son Peter back on the gateball field and even better to hear that he enjoyed the tournament.
A double round robin was to be held, but this morphed into two single round robin tournaments with the winners of each to play off. It will be of little surprise to you, dear reader, that the two Japanese teams dominated proceedings, with the team from Tokyo winning both round robin events.
Overall we had three wins, but the highlight was the second game against Tokyo.
The score was 8-9 going into the final turn, and if ever there was a lesson against changing your mind as captain, this was it. Our ball 7 touched 3 in front of gate 2 and my first instinct was to bombard ball 8 sitting tight to the line near gate 2. Instead, we sparked 3 through gate 2 and followed with 7. An excellent slide by Priska off ball 9 allowed gate 3 to be made and the pole was narrowly missed. The score was now 11-9, with only 8 to play. Unfortunately, ball 8 made gates 2 and 3 and also agari, so we lost by 2 points.
The tournament was played in a very friendly spirit, with fantastic catering and was great fun. Thanks to Dave Underhill and the Swiss team for organising such a fantastic event.
Woodville Croquet Club