Catenay is one of only two clubs in northern France. Their club has two lawns on a multi-sport facility and they have strong connections with Sussex as they play an annual match against Waldron Croquet Club at alternating venues.
They were all pretty good strong hits - due I suspect to the rather long grass they have on their lawns - and it took them a while to adjust to the speed at Southwick. Their play and understanding of the game improved hugely over the weekend.
It was a most enjoyable weekend, if hard work, and they were a lovely group to coach.
As mentioned above, they have a problem cutting their grass short - they don't have a cylinder mower. If any club is thinking of selling an old but working mower, please contact me, as they are interested in buying one but, being rather few in number, can't afford a new one.
They're also looking for some second-hand mallets to replace the wooden-handled ones they currently use.
Finally, anyone visiting the Rouen area of France wanting a game of croquet will, I am sure, find a very warm welcome from the members.
Summer School 2009
This year’s event was held as usual during the final week of July, when the weather is normally settled, fine warm and dry, but the start of the course was beset by a hard, heavy rainfall which prohibited use of the lawns until mid morning when the rain eased off and eventually ceased to give way to more pleasant conditions. The rest of the week was fine, as the South eastern corner enjoyed brilliant sunshine while the rain was confined to other areas, except for an hour or so on Thursday afternoon when another heavy shower was experienced.
The students enjoyed the relaxed, informal atmosphere of the course, but still learned a lot, and the improvement in standards during the week was markedly apparent. Enthusiastic approval greeted the standards of coaching, and the general friendliness of the coaches themselves, and, of course, high quality of the fare offered at mealtimes, but particularly at lunchtime. The bar also proved to be another facility to attract praise. The overall assessment of the course, as indicated by the returned questionnaires, was extremely favourable and around half of the participants have expressed an interest in returning next year. However, this always happens as they get caught up in the general euphoria of the Summer School, but that said, many do return in subsequent years.
The School usually attracts a number of overseas visitors, but they were not apparent this year unless the Irish visitor is so reckoned. Apparently, he was looking on the internet for such a course and came across this one. A likeable fellow, he will probably return next year with his cousin.
The midweek evening barbecue was well attended, and again a superb meal was provided. We were also fortunate in having Mr. John Solomon as a guest, who addressed the assembly and offered words of encouragement to the players, as well as graciously signing copies of his book for several of them.
Two other unexpected highlights of the week were the passing and later return of an old steam locomotive and carriages on the adjacent railway, and a flypast of some frail World War 1 aircraft including old biplanes, and even a triplane to honour Mr. Henry Allingham, the world’s oldest man and war veteran who died a few days earlier and whose funeral was being held that day.
In conclusion, the Summer school was a success for all involved in its organisation and execution.
The 2009 High Bisque tournament run by the Croquet Academy at Southwick in June was blessed with fine, sunny weather. The lawns were fast and true and there was some interesting croquet. Sadly, there were only 12 entrants with handicaps ranging from 14 to 24. The games were full bisque to a base of 10, adapted for 18 point games.
The event was won by Douglas Cossey from Ramsgate who won all his 6 games, most of them emphatically.
His roqueting and hooping were of a high standard but he still needs to acquire more tactical acumen. I am sure he will continue to improve. His handicap went down from 18 to 16 as a result of his winning the salver.
There were 3 players on 4 wins - Wendy Spencer-Smith,who was runner up and had her handicap go down to 14, Ron Farr, and Brian Barnard who also had a handicap reduction from 24 to 22.
I hope everyone enjoyed the event and learned something from it! Next year, we plan to reduce it to 2 days, midweek, with 5 games needing to be played. Please pass the word around that it is an enjoyable and relaxing introduction to, or continuation of, tournament play.
Many thanks to the Southwick Club for hosting the event and for the catering and bar service.
The High Bisque tournament was the 21st one attended by Miriam Reader from Tunbridge Wells. What a stalwart she has been! She is as sprightly and canny as ever and, of course, a really dapper and lovely lady. Gene Mears presented her with a momento of this occasion - good luck for the next 21 years Miriam!
Frances Low - Manager.
Norwegian Team visits The Croquet Academy
For the first time a Norwegian Team from The Croquet Association of Norway has been coached at The Croquet Academy. This happened 19th - 21st September. The Team wishes to thank Sussex County Croquet Club for the use of their courts, and esp. wants to thank their coaches Daphne Gaitley, Alan Theobald, Don Mears and Paul Castell for excellent coaching.
The team was lucky with the weather, bright sunshine all three days, they learned a lot and has got lots of motivation to bring back to
Tore GulbrandsenLeader of The National Croquet Team of
The launch of the Academy has been a great success. Every course run so far has been a complete sell out. The initial Golf Croquet weekend was totally oversubscribed and a second course was created at very short notice to dovetail in with the Association Summer School.
Three courses at different levels took place: Improvers, Bronze level and Silver/Gilt level.
Some 50 particpants and 10 volunteer coaches took part, making the event the largest coaching weekend to have been organised at this venue.
Cold and wet weather on the Saturday did not greatly dampen the enthusiasm of the players (helped by delicious hot soup as part of the lunch menu available) and they were rewarded with pleasant weather on the Sunday.
Stephen Mulliner, one the World's leading Golf & Association players, has agreed to run The Academy's first Masterclass. Details of this one day event will be published shortly and will be an absolute must for aspiring Golf Croquet players wishing to play top level Golf Croquet.
The aims of the Academy is to provide:
1) First class coaching covering both Association and Golf Croquet from beginner to advanced level.
2) Specialist coaching for Coaches, Referees and Managers.
3) Specialist one to one coaching which can be considered on request.
Most courses will be open to players throughout the world with London's major airports and the Channel tunnel being within easy reach. There are also good rail links from London to Southwick, Shoreham or Hove stations.