25 YEARS ON THE GREEN: (back) Peter Tunbridge and Andrea Denkewtiz (front) Heather Widderick, Val Richardson, Pat Schnoor, Joy Newman and Grace Howard.
25 YEARS ON THE GREEN: (back) Peter Tunbridge and Andrea Denkewtiz (front) Heather Widderick, Val Richardson, Pat Schnoor, Joy Newman and Grace Howard. Liana Walker

Association croquet celebrates quarter of a century

Association Croquet: A group of Stanthorpe locals with a passion for croquet decided 25 years ago they needed their own greens.

To this day those same grounds are still used to play the popular mallet sport.

The grounds were funded by government grants and from the pockets of the club members. Equipment was bought second hand from the Killarney croquet course and thus the Stanthorpe croquet greens were born.

On a Tuesday morning around up to 12 players will head to the greens at the Stanthorpe golf club to play association croquet.

The club has many long time members including Joy Newman who has been playing since the club started 25 years ago.

Throughout the quarter century the club has enjoyed it's ups and downs.

One of the highlights has been the friendship days where different clubs across the district travel to play all disciplines of mallet sports, giving the club opportunities to play different opponents.

Club treasurer Andrea Denkewitz said some weather conditions over the past 25 years added difficulty to the game.

"We're still out there thinking 'what are we doing in this wind, in this rain?'” she said.

"There's some old photos of members sitting around in blankets.”

Denkewitz said croquet had many different elements.

"It's a good game in that you've got physical activity but you've got to think about it too,” she said.

"There's a lot of mental activity that goes with it as well.

"You can be as competitive as you want to be or not. It's tactical.

"There's a social aspect as well, it's very sociable because we're all out there at the same time.”

There are currently 29 members in Stanthorpe Mallet sports, however with the options of golf croquet, gateball and ricochet, not all of them play association croquet.

"We'd definitely like more players because it gives us some variety of who to play,” club member Heather Widderick said.

"When it's the same ones all the time you have to try and manipulate it so you're not playing with or against the same person all the time.”

schools had played but with limited time they didn't have the chance to fully learn the game.

"On the surface all of these games are quite simple, but once you get into there's a lot more to it,” Denkewitz said.

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