Kew Croquet Gives Gateball a Go

On the recent Australia Day holiday Monday Kew Croquet Club held a “Give Gateball a Go” day. The aim was to spread our game to other members of the croquet club and to complete beginners as well.  
 
We had a wonderful day weather-wise and 30 people came to try a sport that very few had every played before.  
 
We had a few from Kew Croquet Club, but also visitors from two clubs (hopefully) interested in taking up the game: Ivanhoe Park and Yarrawonga.  Special kudos to the Yarrawonga members who’d driven a long way to get there.
 
We used a relatively standard approach of having some drills and learning the basic skills first before having a couple of competitive games.  Having learnt from previous experience the emphasis was on teaching croquet players to hit the ball gently and teaching the newcomers to hit it straight….  
 
We also incorporated some drills that might seem more advanced, like deliberately hitting the left side or the right side of the ball.  But this was taken to well by the guests and seemed to give a better feel for the game very early on.  A game learned in Canberra called “International Box” was a big hit.  
 
Philip Brown
Kew Croquet Club
 

Canberra Croquet Club damaged in hailstorm

It was forecast to be destructive and it certainly was. I visited the club around 40 minutes after the storm. The lawns were covered to 50cm with leaves and twigs from surrounding deciduous trees, battered and dead ducks sat amongst it, the clubhouse verandah had huge holes in the roof as did the entire roof of the main building.

The lawns have been significantly pock marked by hail with holes the width and depth of golf balls so will be out of play for some time.

The clubhouse roof has been very severely damaged (ie a number of holes in tiles; vast numbers of cracked tiles; painted veneer protecting tiles has been shredded), the verandah awning has been smashed; and there are a couple of broken windows.

Because of the damage to the roof there has been some seepage of moisture into the roof cavity. It is closed until further notice. The tiles, which contain asbestos-containing materials also create a health risk.

The nearby yacht club suffered major damage to windows and boats, with forty dead seagulls and all cars in the area suffered broken windscreens and dents. The hail damaged our large organic garden – shredding tomato, zucchini and pumpkin leaves. I have not heard of any member’s house damage. The storm area was extremely limited to a narrow swathe from Belconnen, through the CSIRO, ANU, Museum, Parliament House to Fyshwick.

Judy Tier
Canberra Croquet Club

‘JOIN’ joined in everything

The visiting team from South Korea, known as ‘JOIN’, arrived ahead of the Nationals and asked whether they could play some gateball in the Sydney area. They certainly worked hard!

Nails done and ready to roll

Thursday 21st November – Epping welcomed the Korean team to the Epping Croquet Club, along with gateball and croquet players from Epping, Holroyd, Newcastle, Toronto and Strathfield croquet clubs. Games were played in front of a large audience. 

An excellent morning tea and lunch was supplied by Ken Poole and the Epping Croquet Club. After lunch, the Korean team showed the finer points of ball placement and a whole range of different shots. Not sure we’ll be able to duplicate them. They were very generous and patient with their coaching. We appreciated their time and trouble in suggesting ways to improve our game.

Quoting Rose from the Toronto Croquet Club, “The Koreans played with such precision, accuracy and humility. I could have watched them play all day long”. We did indeed play all day long or until everyone said “enough”. A very enjoyable day was had by all.

Friday 22nd – President Mary Gibson welcomed the Korean team to the Mosman Croquet Club. A large audience of Mosman Croquet Club members watched the Korean team play the members and guests on the beautiful grounds overlooking Sydney harbour.

Once again, the Korean team displayed their skills and accuracy. We enjoyed lunch as a cool breeze entered the Mosman Pavilion. After lunch the Korean team displayed the finer points of gateball. At day’s end, Mary and her team dropped the Korean team off at Taronga Wharf where they were taking a ferry on the harbour.

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Monday 25thA weekend in the Blue Mountains introduced the team to the vagaries of mountain weather – hot, cold and smoky. The team pitched in to cook the BBQ and the women beat the men at the Finska garden game. On Monday everyone drove down to Lithgow and again were treated to a master class from ‘JOIN’. They took so much time to explain techniques and suggest ways to improve our performance.

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Tuesday 26th – Strathfield Croquet Club President Ann Shaddick welcomed the Korean team. The Mayor of Strathfield also welcomed them. All players then took to the court and played several games prior to morning tea and lunch.

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Everyone was impressed with the Korean Team as they consistently produced a very high standard of play. Strathfield member Petula Shun said, “For me I have only being playing gateball for 6 months and as I am a trainee referee they encouraged me to practise assisting their referee. They also included some basics like stance and just striking and sparking. They were just so generous. It’s easy to see the practice they do with 24 hour facility available!!

Stories supplied by Sandra Townley – Epping Croquet Club, Maggi Williams – Lithgow Croquet Club and members of various clubs.

Visit of the Korean team

Notes from my diary….

Tomorrow, our club hosts the ‘JOIN’ Korean gateball team. The lawns are ready, the weather just has to behave itself! The Mayor of Strathfield, Councillor Antoine Doueihl will be coming at 10am to ‘meet and greet’ this talented and nice team from near Busan, South Korea. At least this experience is helping me to get to know more about Korea and Koreans.  Another special guest and SCC Club member is Lucille McKenna who will be coming tomorrow, not only to volunteer but also to represent the InnerWestCouncil, as Lucille is one of their Councillors.

This increasing knowledge of Korea, which hopefully more of us will experience over time and not be confined to just Korea, can only strengthen ties between citizens of our respective countries, at least at the personal level as well as the gateball level. The connection with Korea was strongly felt by me today when I attended – coincidentally – a luncheon in honour of Korean War Veterans at Concord Hospital.  My husband (Keith) who died in 2016 was a Korean War Veteran. This function in honour of Veterans and their guests was hosted by the Consul-General of Korea, Sangwoo Hong.  Whilst I had invited the Consul-General to the SCC event he was unavailable that day and this was this next best thing. As the Consul-General pointed out, next year is particularly significant for Australian-Korean bonds as they commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Ceasefire.

Keith and I used to attend annually the Cheil Church at North Strathfield, again in honour of Korean Veterans. However, today was the first time I had a really long and pleasant discussion (over lunch) with a lady who attends that church. So at the next anniversary function I will go with the knowledge, I now know one of their parishioners, that kind Korean lady at my table, who gave our croquet club the Korean flag. She felt it had a more valuable role to play in that location, rather than being stored at her home. Its presence will add to the welcome the Korean team will feel with their flag on display tomorrow. Epping Club borrowed a Korean flag from their local Council and that gave me the idea. The flag is a significant addition to our club and a stepping stone to a closer connection. Today I also printed out a map of Korea and I wrote to Jay ( Jae-won), the son of the JOIN team’s manager who will act as interpreter tomorrow.  I asked Jay which was the closest city from which their team came. Jay said Busan (a port city in the very south).

So again this gateball experience, along with my husband’s war experience of Korea, is motivating me to really extend the hand of friendship to the Korean gateballers in a more meaningful way

Ruth Bridger
Strathfield Croquet Club

 

Epping CC awards Clare Poole Life Membership

On Sunday the 08/09/2019 at the Epping Croquet Club, Clare Poole was rewarded with a well deserved ‘Life Membership’ of the club.

Members & guests gathered to help celebrate & enjoy a delicious morning tea & to play Gateball. Croquet Clubs from EDSACC, Hurstville, Jamberoo, Lithgow, Newcastle, Strathfield & Toronto participated. With best wishes & congratulations from Canberra, Eastwood, Mosman & Sutherland Croquet Clubs.

Epping’s President, Bob Green thanked Clare for the role she played as a past President of the club & of Clare’s many achievements in both Association & Golf Croquet.

Epping member Sandra Townley spoke of Clare’s involvement with Gateball. The following is an extract from that speech.
“It all started back in 1996 when Japan wanted to introduce Gateball to western countries in the region. The then Croquet Players Association of NSW was approached & Clare along with other interested players started to learn Gateball. They did this by watching a video sent from Japan. Understanding & following that video was made difficult because the video instruction was in Japanese.

This group of players persevered & in 1998, 2 teams including Clare represented Australia at the World Gateball Championship held in Hawaii. This was the first time Australia had played in this Championship.

Clare has represented Australia at the World Gateball Championship in South Korea, Japan, China & Thailand. A true International Gateball player.

Clare has always promoted Gateball going around to different Croquet Clubs demonstrating the game. She has been a mentor to many players being very generous with her knowledge & explaining tactics. Clare has always been very supportive & those of us who benefited from her experience, appreciated it.

We can honestly say that Clare helped introduce Gateball to Australia.

In finishing Sandra quoted Clare – “when playing Gateball always remember to; Swing low, slow & with flow”.

Epping member Joy Heape then presented Clare with her ‘Life Membership’ badge.
It was an enjoyable morning catching-up with our Croquet & Gateball friends.

Once again, congratulations Clare.

Sandra Townley
Epping Croquet Club.
Duncan Park, 47 Kent Street, Epping 2121