First tournament in 20 years
It has been more than 20 years since Croquet Croquet Club hosted a competitive tournament but that drought has now ended.
The Croquet Club has been in decline since 2006 as the popularity of the game started to drop.
A passionate few supporters of the sport keep it going in Taupo but their efforts were proving fruitless. Until a couple years ago. Aart Van Saarsloo first introduced golf croquet into New Zealand when he was a member of the Havelock North Croquet Club.
When he moved to Taupo a few years ago, he brought his knowledge of golf croquet along with him – and the club hasn’t looked back since.
Upon the introduction of Golf Croquet, the Croquet Club was able to host its first Golf Croquet competition as membership numbers have risen at Taupo Croquet Club.
’’It’s a real step forward for the club,’’ club president, Peter Fage, said.
‘‘The interest in golf croquet grew quite noticeably. The club stopped being a social club, so to speak, as it introduced a bit more competition.’’
Golf croquet has been played in New Zealand for the past 10 years.
Fage said it is the fastest growing sport in the country.
Compared to its croquet brother, golf croquet is easier to comprehend. It is quite a social game as everybody plays at the same time, in either pairs or singles.
Because of the game’s popularity, Taupo Croquet Club has also became associated with Croquet New Zealand.
‘‘It’s been some time since we the club has been affiliated,’’ Fage said. ‘‘We have re-joined the outer network.’’
Club members are now working towards the three Bay of Plenty sanctioned tournaments they are going to be staging – the first one to take place on October 23.
‘‘It’s very much a first for us, to stage an open event,’’ Fage said. But that’s not all for the club. They have also entered into an interclub golf croquet team in the Six Club Series where they will play against the five other clubs that form the BOP association.
Fage said looking at the honours board in their clubrooms, there is a noticeable ‘death’ to the love of croquet in 2006.
‘‘Eleven years later, we are getting the club back to where it used to be at some stage.’’
The Taupo Croquet Club held their first tournament in 20 years.