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
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.