New au­di­ence dis­cov­ers cro­quet game


Se­niors of the Korean Pos­i­tive Age­ing Char­i­ta­ble Trust’s Sil­ver School vis­ited Paku­ranga Cro­quet Club for their Have a Go Sport Day.

They en­joyed a sun-drenched af­ter­noon on the greens of the Lloyd Elsmore Park club, learn­ing and play­ing the tra­di­tional Euro­pean ball and mal­let game for the first time.

Af­ter a brief in­struc­tion ses­sion, the group split into smaller teams to com­pete against each other.

With eyes fixed on the cro­quet balls and hands clutch­ing mal­lets, the se­niors took turns to make their moves, sigh­ing or cheer­ing over a miss or a score.

‘‘Cro­quet play­ing is an awe­some op­por­tu­nity for us,’’ trust gen­eral man­ager Yon­grahn Park says.

‘‘It’s fun and our stu­dents en­joyed it in the com­fort­able and safe environment.’’

Sil­ver School is not only for con­nect­ing so­cially, but also a chance for se­nior im­mi­grants to learn about New Zealand so­ci­ety, Park says.

It’s the first time the club has hosted a Korean group, though it has been work­ing with dif­fer­ent eth­nic and age groups.

‘‘It’s a very nice day for us, and they’re all very jolly peo­ple,’’ club cap­tain John Wood says.

‘‘It’s nice to get the re­tired peo­ple out into the fresh air and play.’’

Wood says the se­niors and coaches could eas­ily un­der­stand each other de­spite a lan­guage bar­rier, and the stu­dents be­came quite good at cro­quet af­ter play­ing for a while.

The 30-year-old Paku­ranga Cro­quet Club has 60 mem­bers and plans to make cre­ate more lawns to take in ad­di­tional mem­bers.

‘‘We’re in­ter­ested in do­ing more work like this, with more groups com­ing to visit,’’ Wood says.

‘‘It’s a very in­ter­est­ing game. It makes you fit, be­cause you’re walk­ing all the time.’’

The club usu­ally plays on Mon­day, Wed­nes­day, Fri­day and Satur­day. Any­body in­ter­ested is wel­come to have a go, with coach­ing and equip­ment pro­vided, Wood says.

Sharon Yang, com­mu­nity sport Ac­tiveAsian ad­vi­sor for Coun­ties Manukau Sport, helped co­or­di­nate the cro­quet visit and also joined in.

‘‘The ini­tia­tive is get­ting more Asians ac­tive and we en­cour­age peo­ple to try things which is ageap­pro­r­i­ate,’’ Yang says.

‘‘I’ve never played this game be­fore. Ev­ery­body en­joyed it, in­clud­ing me.’’

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