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What has been happening at our club recently ...


Two highly experienced and talented Victorian Gateballers, graced our lawns, and spontaneously gave what might be termed in other contexts ‘master classes’. These Gateballers were Gilon Smith and Anthony Dask. They were most generous with sharing their knowledge, and were great fun as well. The final Sunday Gateball for 2020 at SCC did take place, although rain showers were a dampener, those living closer trusted, that it was only ‘Strathfield Rain’…sure enough it cleared up by 10.30am! RB221220

Gilon Smith has been a past National Director of Gateball. Gilon is also an International Referee and has represented Australia.

Julia Rizzo, Anthony Dask, Ann Shaaddick,and Petula Shun

Anthony has represented Australia in both GC and Gateball.   He  referees in Japanese and translates into English. He has recently produced coaching videos.  See them at

Gilon Smith

Delicate Title

The Covid-19 Pandemic affected our croquet club, just as it did all other community organisations. Cancellation of events and lowering of expectations was inevitable, so we thought. Instead, such adversity led to creative and innovative ideas, not just in the Cultural, Performing Arts and Business contexts but also in our sport. SCC actually ended the final quarter of the year with amazing things achieved.

First, Ruth Bridger was invited by CNSW, to be the first presenter in an inaugural Zoom Workshop Series- the first one was on Club Coaching.  Ruth suggested they have Co-Presenters, which did happen. Other sessions would have different presenters and different topics). It was obvious that most learning this year would be on-line. Ruth used the School Croquet Program as a case study to illustrate how club members in a coaching role, can improve their own K-S-A as players/coaches, when partaking in a School Croquet Program. Feedback was very positive. Seventy participants across NSW/ACT attended that session (SCC Coaching Session Plans and the paper presented, are on the CNSW Website (Coaching page).

Suddenly it was December, and community requests for a croquet themed (namely Golf Croquet), end of year party, began. As we couldn’t have large functions this year, these calls were most welcome. SCC could manage smaller groups between ten-sixteen people. In time for these functions, the SCC Committee, completed the process to register their club with the State Government, as a Covid-Safe business, with QR code operating, and a Covid Safe –Plan on display. Ruth set about planning their visits, the coaching session, and gathering volunteers to coach.

What happened was, that within minutes of each other, two groups phoned, and wanted the same weekend, but not the same day. Brilliant! The first group was from the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, Western Sydney University.


The second group was from The Burwood United Netball Club, and organised by Tracy Norman, whose day job appears to be- Sports Services Coordinator, Australian Olympic Committee (no, that won’t get croquet in the Olympics, although the last time was in 1900 in Paris!). Tracy did say she and ‘her (netball) girls’ would try and promote our sport where they can.  Both groups and SCC volunteers enjoyed the experience, and would like to repeat it. Ruth was also buoyed by the expressions of interest shown by new members to partake in such programs in 2021.





Western Sydney University Group-MARCS Institute- SCC Visitors

Burwood United Netball Club- SCC Visitors

Words by Lola Sharp and photos by Gerry Gray 

Golf Croquet Workshop at Strathfield 23/6/2020 with Alison Sharpe


The enthusiastic hopefuls gathered for the key to this game, expecting all

knowledge to be unlocked immediately.  They included Myrosia, Margaret, Cheryl, Elizabeth, Mavis, Rhondda, Pauline, Gerry and Lola.


It was a typical June winter’s day at Strathfield, nippy but nice, which enabled

our concentration to centre on the game, not the weather. 

Our instructress proved to be a delightful, patient and humorous lady who

obviously knew what she was talking about. 

Thank you Alison for your insights and particularly your hand out sheet.


We were then led on the greens like lambs to the slaughter and guess what? 

It did not hurt.  Margaret (blue) Gerry (red).  Slight embarrassment on Lola’s part

as each black ball she attempted to hit towards the first hoop had a mind of its

own. The upside?  Lola then had a wee private lesson at the end of the game to

finally get the idea of swing gently, with a loose grip. Elizabeth followed with yellow.


Coach Alison gently advised shots but at one stage Elizabeth preferred to go her own way and unfortunately missed the hoop.  A black cloud arose above her head but on her next shot, she cleared the hoop from the off side.  Joy and laughter as Gerry leapt to the fore for a photo!


This is one example of an afternoon of merriment, applause when appropriate, concentrated faces absorbing hitherto unknown facts especially when Alison explained “tactics” for when we hit the big time.  There were simple examples of hitting two balls in a straight line to show how stance and swing combined;  clues as to lodging the ball in the hoop to block other players; nasty “taps” of ball to make it impossible for the opposition to make progress; and the like.


Hopefully we took away some added knowledge and gained some insights into how we might progress our games for the future.  And importantly, Alison’s philosophy of “enjoy your time on the lawn” reinforced our own Monday group’s attitude to GC.


Thank you, Alison.  Thank you participants.  Margaret Gollan


Strathfield Rotary held their first meeting of the year at our club in mid January. This tradition goes back to 2010 and combines croquet, socialising and sharing a great meal.
This year there were thirty two from Rotary and five SCC volunteers.

We now have a group of Rotarians who are quite accomplished at Golf Croquet - they have fun while remaining competitive. We help new players integrate with the more experienced players. Some of the Rotarians asked about Gateball, so we gave them some experience with the different equipment involved.

During 2020 the club launched A Taste of Croquet.  See Come and Try Sessions under Joining the Club. We ask all members to assist in this initiative by doing two things:

First, take away one of the brochures currently on the table in the club and give it to someone you know who might be interested in joining.

Second,  if you are a member of another organisation, or know someone who is a member of another organisation, then see what you can do to get that organisation to invite our team of Bob Phillips, Peter Hall and Ruth Bridger to give them a one-hour Taste of Croquet talk.

Bob Phillips, Peter Hall and Ruth Bridger have given talks to the Shedless Men at Breakfast Point and to members of the Drummoyne Community Center.  The talks cover the social history of the game,  basic strategies of golf croquet and the personal benefits of playing.  


The club needs volunteers to assist with organising occasional small club functions  (e.g., following an inter-club Championship, or an introductory croquet post-Course picnic lunch). The club would pay for the catering of drinks/food. Perhaps, you know a retired event organiser, who could easily handle the occasional small-medium sized lunch group. If you do,send an email via , This activity has nothing to do with the larger community functions, who self-provide, and are a source of necessary income for the club.

The club needs volunteers to assist with minor editorial activities on our website, updating announcements and the like. While this may sound daunting, it is, in fact, extremely straightforward. Our Club website manager, Peter Hall, is only too happy to give you an hour or so practice. (All you will need. It is actually easier to learn than Golf Croquet and can be done in the comfort of your own home. And, if you muck it up, it is trivially easy to fix.) Impress your family and friends with your technological expertise.


Two Twilight Croquet Sessions were held at our Club during Seniors Week 2020.

SCC Club members explained the game of golf croquet to both groups of aspiring players.

At the conclusion of each session we all went into the clubhouse for cake and tea.

Judging from their responses to the game, the participants were very happy, and surprised with their croquet experience. 

Yes, it was said to me, 'What an eye opener. This game of croquet is such fun.'  (Yvonne Webster)

Twilight croquet has been cancelled on Fridays due to the COVID-19.  It will be back better than ever once the longer days emerge and the pandemic has been  beaten. ( Margaret Gollan)