Moira Costello and Jan O’Connor, from The Mornington Croquet Club, sit down with Kate Sears to give us the lowdown on this growing club.
“We pride ourselves on a friendly and social game,” Moira says. “It’s more of a ‘hit and giggle’. We can play socially without competition - that’s the beauty of it. You just feel the love of the club without any pressure. But if you’re competitive, don’t worry - we do competitions too.”
The club was formed in 1982 and moved to the Mornington Civic Reserve in Dunns Rd in 2000. It is affiliated with the Australian and Victorian Croquet Association, with credited referees and coaches. With 78 members, the club is encouraging everyone to visit for a free trial – it welcomes new members of all ages – and all you need to bring is flat-soled shoes and an inquisitive nature.
“We all pitch in. The club members volunteer their services to maintain the clubrooms, set up the courts, uphold the garden, serve tea, coffee and biscuits after the game - and of course, the clean-up after the tea and gossip.”
With its new courts expected to be finished at the end of March, the club is eager to get a junior membership started. “The school kids who come love it. A teacher came up to us once and said she’d never heard one of her students talk so much.”
Moira joined the club in 2013 after moving to Mornington, not knowing anyone and having never played croquet before. It’s a completely different story now. “I was a bit hesitant at the start, but everyone’s so friendly and willing to help. Even players on the opposite team were providing tips during my first game.”
The members’ spirits are at an all-time high after winning the Metropolitan Shield Autumn 2017 when they competed against clubs from all over Metropolitan Melbourne. It’s such an outstanding achievement because most of the players had never played before and knew nothing about the game.
“Thanks to our sponsors we’re still going strong,” Moira says.
To ask about a trial or membership, call Moira on 5977 0071.