Club opens its new home of croquet
The last few weeks have been stellar for the Matamata Croquet Club, who after over a year of waiting, are playing on brand new international-sized courts.
Members of the club have been waiting patiently for their Smith Street club rooms and courts to be ready, since they sold the former aging club grounds just over a year ago.
Treasurer Allan Elliot says the former grounds, behind Matamata Bowling Club, were inadequate.
The grounds only had four courts, one was divided into two and none were full size.
There were no gaps between the greens and the aging club house only held 30 people.
The club has a membership of 63 regular players, plus 14 Matamata College players.
The new premises has six international-sized greens and the club room holds up to 90 people.
‘‘It was great to watch it come together,’’ said Elliot.
Elliot designed the new club rooms, and Waikato/King Country Association publicity officer Joe Beattie said it was agreed upon at a meeting with council that those plans would be used until it reached the building process.
Even then, he said Wrightway Builders didn’t deviate much from them.
He said the relationship between the club committee and council had been a very positive one.
‘‘We are indebted greatly to council, for the help, the ground, for all the help they have given us. They have been outstanding.’’
Beattie said most towns have a croquet club, which is only fitting considering the country’s reputation in croquet on a global scale.
Beattie described New Zealand croquet as a ‘‘powerhouse’’.
Four world titles are held by New Zealanders, and of the 26 players heading to Australia for the Golf Croquet World Champs, 17 are New Zealanders, including players from the Morrinsville croquet club.
The official opening was held late last month, which included the opening speech by club president Allan Bruce, the first hoop made by club patron Loma Keatinge and the tape cut by Mayor Jan Barnes.
The club also hosted an invitational tournament, which included 14 clubs, some travelling from as far away ay Whakatane and Katikati.
The new Matamata croquet club grounds include international sized courts.