‘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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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.

Coaching in Queensland

This last weekend featured two coaching events in the Queensland Gateball community.

On Sunday, Pine Rivers club hosted a coaching session where skills, strategy, tactics and rules were presented by State Director Barbara Northcott, ably assisted by Jim . National Coordinator, John Park, also delivered a session.

Theoretical sessions were interspersed with practical activities on the Pine Rivers’ lawns.

Barbara explaining the range of skills activities set out on the court.

Jim does strategy and tactics

On Monday, a number of CAQ coaches met with the National Coordinator at Nundah CC to participate in a workshop on a Level 2 coaching program for Gateball. This was similar to a session held at Strathfield in NSW earlier this year. Both sessions have assisted in refining ideas for a level 2 coaching program for Gateball.

The meeting was also fortunate enough to be addressed by the ACA’s newly appointed National Coordinator of Coaching, Greg Bury. After a four year hiatus, coaching is on the move again and during the first session of the day, the assembled Queensland coaches were able to listen to Greg’s ideas and to offer input to the new program. Greg’s first task has been to consult with stakeholders in each state. He is currently attempting to establish a time to meet with Sport Australia (previously the Australian Sports Commission) to ensure that the program developed meets SA requirements.

A previous article from this website was used to open consideration of what needs to be in a Level 2 program. Keith McCleod’s article, written after the 2015 Australian Championships,  Gateball Tactics: What have we learned , shows the blend of skills, tactics and strategy needed if Australian teams are to win games against quality overseas teams. During the course of the day participants shared information they had gleaned from their prereading on coaching processes, skill acquisition and sport psychology. Strategy and tactics were linked with a proposed list of skills required to enact the strategy and tactics.

Greg Bury, ACA’s National Coaching Coordinator, addressing Queensland Gateball Coaches

Having qualified coaches is important for all clubs. A coaching program enables us to share information and best practice throughout our dispersed Gateball community. In an increasingly litigious era, it is also important for clubs to make sure they have coaches in place. Having a more fully developed coaching program should also make more Sport Australia services accessible to us.