Local croquet players have joined forces with Echuca Lawn Tennis Club to form a new croquet club in the local area.
The Echuca-Moama Croquet Club will become part of the Goulburn Valley Croquet Association as well as the Victorian Croquet Association.
The inaugural president Jim Maynard and vice-president Roly Hall were the driving forces behind the club’s creation and have been in discussion with the ELTC committee for six weeks.
‘‘We decided to contact the tennis club and had a meeting with the committee to come on board,’’ Hall said.
‘‘We felt croquet needed a fresh start in the area and wanted to provide people in Echuca and Moama with more options of where to play.’’
Hall has been involved in croquet for six years and was hooked on the game from the start.
‘‘I’ve really enjoyed playing,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s taken me to a lot of places throughout Victoria and NSW and it’s become a very popular game over the years.’’
The Victorian Croquet Association operates in 13 regions and has 89 registered clubs, nine of which will now constitute the Goulburn Valley.
Croquet is a sport which can be played by any one and the club is always looking for more members to join the eight already registered players, with a further eight having expressed interest in playing.
ELTC president Brian Gledhill said the idea was brought to the committee and members were more than happy to welcome the croquet team on board.
‘‘It’s been an extremely good relationship so far with everyone involved,’’ he said.
‘‘They (Maynard and Hall) were the instigators of the whole thing, we’ve just been able to provide the facilities.’’
Gledhill added the partnership has helped to offset a lot of the costs associated in running the club and will ensure the facilities are made the most of with courts now being used seven days a week.
Members will have two courts to play on and will share facilities at the tennis club when games commence.
And it shouldn’t be too long before croquet gets under way with lines painted during the week.
The club is still in search of sponsors to purchase hoops, balls and other equipment.
Customised mallets are provided by each individual player and Hall said the grass courts supplied the perfect ground to play on.
‘‘The courts and facilities at the tennis club suited our needs and all received an A-one pass from members,’’ Hall said.
‘‘We’re not the first club to share facilities with a tennis association and places like Numurkah, Deniliquin, Cobram, Donald and Swan Hill have done so successfully for a number of years.’’
For more information contact Jim Maynard on 0404 632 984.