It’s all about fun, connecting and a chance to get to know people. The Pottsville Fun Croquet club is celebrating its first year in action at the Black Rock sports ground in Pottsville and are encouraging everyone of all ages and persuasions to come along and join in the fun.
‘We have spare mallets for visitors to come and try out croquet and you don’t have to have ever played before,’ said club president Carol Vimpani.
‘It is all about creating community and having fun. It is really social and casual and creates connections between people.’
For local resident Heather who has been living in the area for four years it has been a great way to make new friends.
‘I’d been living Pottsville for four years and tried other ways to meet people. My husband, who is part of the Men’s Shed suggested I come and try out the fun croquet club and I’ve just had so much fun. It is a great way to connect with people, they are very accepting and there is a really diverse range of people who have joined up and come along’, she said.
Affordable for everyone
Games take place twice a week on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons at a cost of $5.
‘We really wanted to keep it affordable and fun for everyone,’ said Carol.
‘It is about meeting and connecting. You get to play a few games each session and there are four people in each group and we mix them up each round so you get to meet and talk to different people throughout the games.
‘The game is good for people of all ages and abilities. We recently had a 90 year-old lady I’ve known for 20 years join after the doctor told her she wasn’t allowed to ride her bike or play tennis anymore.’
Ultimately the club would like to get schools involved at the site but currently there are only two toilets at the sports field so they would need more facilities on site before schools could bring groups to participate in the club.
‘During the holidays some people bring their children and grandchildren and that is great fun,’ said Carol.
Members from around the region
The club currently has around 40 members with one recently joining from Mullumbimby and they often have people from New Brighton, Ocean Shires, Bogangar and Cabarita enjoying a game.
‘We are just having a shelter put up and our club has been successful in raising money through members’ donations, barbecues and raffles,’ said Carol.
‘Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry is our patron, and with the help of Matt McCann at Tweed Shire Council’s Parks Operations we’ve been able to get the club up and running.’
Talking to Echonetdaily councillor Cherry said, ‘I’m so excited to see what a great community it is developing into. The addition of the shelter that is going up at the moment, is a great outcome for them.’
Ecologically sensitive area
The area around the Black Rocks Sports Ground is known for its koala colony and sensitive ecological environment. As you drive in and out of the sports ground you have to wait for koala gates to open before you can enter or leave.
Local David Norris who also sits on the Tweed Council koala management committee says this is the type of sporting activity that should be encouraged at the site.
‘This is one of the best types of organised sports to be played at this sports ground considering the ecological value of the surrounding area,’ he told Echonetdaily.
‘Low impact sport and casual use of the area are key to balancing the needs of the sports ground and the ecological sensitivity of the site.’
The Tweed Council is currently developing a Masterplan for the Black Rocks Sports Ground that recognises the ecological value of the area that will be completed later this year.
‘The Marsterplan process gives everyone the opportunity to look at the range of options for the site and give their opinion and we’re committed to having that completed by Christamas,’ Ms Cherry confirmed.