Tumut’s croquet club is in its fourth year this year, and they say they are always looking for new members.
The purpose of the club is primarily social, with a bit of light exercise thrown in.
They meet weekly, every Tuesday from nine AM onwards, with a typical day going until two – weather permitting of course.
“It’s social – a hit and a giggle,” said club member Albert Manning.
“It’s great for the ones who can’t handle golf clubs or bowls anymore, they can come and play this game.
“We’ve got quite a few members in their eighties.”
The club currently consists of around 25 members, with membership costing $10 a year plus the $8 it costs to use the green each week.
Those curious about joining are welcome to a two week free trial, to see if the club is their cup of tea.
Club Secretary Jan Locke said the game is a great excuse to catch up with community members and have a chat.
“It’s the company more than anything, it’s a fantastic group,” she said.
“They had such a good reputation, before I came, for being such a friendly crowd. There’s no competition, it’s just purely fun,” said another member.
The club meets at the Tumut Bowls Club.
Croquet Fun Facts
- Croquet was first introduced to England from France during the reign of Charles II, 1630 – 1685, although at the time it was called “pall mall.”
- There are world rankings for croquet, with England unsurprisingly taking the top spot and Australia and New Zealand currently tying for second.
- Croquet was an event in the 1900 summer olympics in Paris.
- In H.G Wells’ the Croquet Player, croquet is used as a metaphor for humanity confronting its own existence.
- There was a 300 per cent increase in croquet sales in England after politician John Prescott was photographed playing the game following a sex scandal.
- There is a version of the sport called “extreme croquet” that involves playing in adventurous terrain using special mallets.
- Rapper P Diddy held a croquet party in 2008 to celebrate becoming the first rapper to be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Croquet was the first outdoor sport to embrace equality, allowing both sexes to play the game on an equal footing. For this reason it was quite a controversial pastime in its earlier period.
- Croquet has been played in Antarctica, with the scientists substituting the green for an ice sheet.
- Princess Kate Middleton’s sister Pippa wrote an article about her love of croquet in Vanity Fair last year.