Woody Point’s Eildon Croquet Club will play host to a national championship for the first time, cementing its place as one of Queensland’s premier clubs.
Eildon tournament manager Megan Stuart says the Australian Under 21 Golf Croquet Championships promise to change the perception that croquet is a sport for retirees when the best players in Australia battle it out at the club this week.
“What a fantastic way to start the year at Eildon,” Megan says.
“I am extremely excited for two reasons - it is the inaugural Gold and Silver event for Under-21 and this is the first time we have hosted a national event.
“The chance to see the play of the best up-and-coming young croquet players in Australia will be an exciting spectacle.”
Three competitions will be held at Eildon from January 11-16 – the Australian Gold Medal, in which the champion of each state plays for the title of champion of champions, followed by the Australian Open, which is open to all comers with singles and doubles honours up for grabs.
Megan says Eildon has provided the most players to the 2022 Queensland state teams out of all clubs in the state.
The winner of the Under-21 tournament will represent Australia at the World Under 21s in New Zealand.
Australian Croquet Academy general manager Greg Bury says players now have a clear pathway from joining their club to representing their state and country and as a player at world championships.
“I would encourage competitively minded young people to consider taking up the sport,” Greg says.
Queensland Under-21 representatives Addison Matthews and Frances Wright, and Ethan Gumbrell from Canberra, representing NSW, have been training at Eildon in the lead-up to the championships.
Frances, 20, says she’s looking forward to meeting other people of a similar age who also enjoy croquet.
She took up the sport at the age of 11 when her mum started playing.
“Mum started when I was 11 and dragged me along and I never left,” she says.
Addison, who grew up in Morayfield, started playing about two years ago after being introduced to croquet by Frances and her family.
He first competed in tournaments in July, 2021 and has since played more than 200 matches all around south east Queensland.
|“This sport can be played by everyone and you get to meet a lot of people from all around Queensland and Australia,” Addison says.|
He’s relishing the chance to play in the Australian Under-21 Championships and says he loves the game’s strategy and the opportunity to develop skills by playing all levels of croquet.
Megan says Eildon would welcome spectators on any of the playing days from tomorrow until Monday and entry is free.
The club is at 75 Oxley Ave, Woody Point.
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