Fin­ish­ing touches be­ing put on croquet club’s new home base

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - MIKE BAIN

The an­ces­tral game of croquet first in­tro­duced to Bri­tain and France dur­ing the 1630–1685 reign of Charles II of Eng­land is still pop­u­lar to­day and in Mata­mata it’s on the move in more ways than one.

The Mata­mata Croquet Club to­day boasts 75 mem­bers with a spread of ages from teens to 94-years-old.

And it’s be­cause of the pop­u­lar­ity of the game, once de­scribed as close to ground bil­liards as you will ever get, the club has sold up its for­mer club­house and grounds on Pe­ria Rd and used the pro­ceeds to re­lo­cate to Pohlen Park.

With a 3 x 10 year re­peat lease, the club has built a brand new home which is nearly com­plete along with an ad­di­tional im­ple­ment shed.

The club is in the process of lay­ing out six play­ing fields when fin­ished will be able to boast the largest croquet fa­cil­i­ties for the Waikato re­gion.

Club pres­i­dent Al­lan Bruce is look­ing to the club trans­fer­ring into their new premises by the Christ­mas break.

The clu­b­rooms when fin­ished will cater for the needs of mem­bers with a large lounge area, kitchen, mal­let store, and starters of­fice along with other nec­es­sary fa­cil­i­ties.

Al­ready host­ing a large num­ber of tour­na­ments dur­ing the sea­son the club is not look­ing to add any events to the cal­en­dar.

Fa­cil­i­ties aside Bruce is happy with the progress of the clubs mem­ber­ship.

‘‘Sixty one of our mem­bers are adults and we also have 14 col­lege age mem­bers who play through the NZ Sec­ondary Schools pro­gramme run by Croquet NZ,’’ he said.

He is full of praise for the skills the young­sters and ‘‘they are re­ally keen to play more and have their own spe­cial day, but also play with other mem­bers’’.

Bruce said the game is at­trac­tive to both young and old be­cause it gives ev­ery­one a chance to en­gage in fel­low­ship and friend­ship.

‘‘It’s also great for fit­ness, by the the time you have played three rounds of croquet you will have walked at least 3.5kms with­out even know­ing you have done so.’’

PHOTO: LAWRENCE GULLERY

A new club­house for the Mata­mata Croquet Club at Pohlen Park, Mata­mata, is un­der­way.

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