Players have a ball at croquet open day

Ida Toft, David Smith and David Gregory look on as Marion Smith strikes her ball to gain good position at the Darley Dale Croquet Club open day.
Ida Toft, David Smith and David Gregory look on as Marion Smith strikes her ball to gain good position at the Darley Dale Croquet Club open day.

THE rain held off on Saturday as Darley Dale Croquet Club was able to host its open day at Whitworth Park.

The club was formed four years ago and meets on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm until 5pm from April through to September.

Members play golf croquet, a simplified version of the game which can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of their physical skills, gender, age or stamina.

The event had 18 members in attendance plus some newcomers who were keen to try their hand at the sport, which is ideal for people to meet in the fresh air, take gentle exercise and enjoy each others’ company.

Last season saw an upturn in the club’s competitive fortunes, as secretary David Gregory, explained: “When we first started, none of knew how the play the game.

“The club is a member of the Federation of East Midlands Croquet Clubs and takes part in their two division inter-club leagues.

“In 2011, after three years at the bottom of the second division, the club were delighted to come third out of seven clubs. You could really see that progress was being made and that members were coming to terms with the strategies used in the sport, so that was good to see.”

In addition, friendly matches are played with regional clubs both at home and away. The club also runs a club league and intends introducing other friendly tournaments this season.

Following on from the open day, the club is also hosting a coaching session this Saturday (April 28) from 2pm. There will be two levels of coaching – beginners and improvers, and all are welcome to attend.

For further information on the club, contact Mike Connelly on 01629 732568 or David Gregory on 01629 732455.