At the request of the National Coordinator, Barbara and Jim Northcott represented Gateball Australia at the World and Japanese Gateball Union’s new office to make enquiries and update the organisation about gateball in Australia. They report that:
The new offices are in a huge building which has all of the Sports Federations/ Organisations in the one skyscraper. Japan Hockey is across the hall from Gateball. Rugby along the corridor. The Olympic Museum is on the ground floor and the Olympic Committee on the top floor. The building looks over the new Olympic Stadium which was officially opened last week. People everywhere gawking and taking photos just like we did.
Items discussed at the meeting included:
1. The recent interest shown by NZ Croquet in gateball and moves by that organisation to support the development of the game.
2. The 2019 Australian Gateball Championships were reported as being both successful and very friendly. Barbara explained the place and the venue for 2021 and hoped Japanese teams would visit and play. Fridge magnets were distributed
3. Additional copies of the 2019 rule book were reported as not having been printed yet. Ten copies were initially sent to Gateball Australia and others will follow in the new year.
4. The Asian Gateball Union Championships have been planned for Shen Zheng in Guangdong Province for November 2020. However with current uncertainties in Hong Kong there is doubt about that being a certainty because people from overseas have to fly via Hong Kong. A meeting will be held in January or February to clarify the situation
5. An update of issues facing Gateball Australia were clarified for the WGU
On another day, Jim and Barbara played gateball at Kita Park. They reported: Satoshi Kamijo, Keiichi Imagawa, Shoiichi Nakamura (he is playing in the World Croquet Champs in Melbourne as the only Japanese player involved), Taka, who played in Melbourne with Woodville) attended and are all English speakers . A mixed group of others – young, talented men and older players, male and female, all met after Satoshi organised it. There were almost twenty of us.
Good fun, interesting tactics and plenty of snacks kept us there from 10 to 3:30. I certainly spoke about 2021, gave out the fridge magnets, Keiichi translated, hotel accommodation and best airports were discussed. I feel positive there will be definite interest from this younger group as opposed to the players at Adachi where we normally play.