Hartley Wintney Croquet Club

Croquet is a very sociable game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and all standards. Unlike many sports it is very easy to learn and you can very quickly get to a standard where you can enjoy the game, especially with Hartley Wintney Croquet Club.

 

There are 2 types of croquet. Golf Croquet is very popular, very sociable and is particularly easy to pick up. Association Croquet is more tactical and strategic. It is easy to learn the skills and rules of both games but it will of course take longer to master.

Over the past 10 years or so Hartley Wintney has had 2 major housing developments where the developers were required to make “Leisure Contributions” (known as S106 Funding) as part of the development. The Leisure Contributions were agreed to be the provision of a cricket field, football field and pavilion.

The total cost of the project was in the region of £1,000,000 which included a significant contribution from the Parish Council, and therefore the Parish Council was very keen to maximise the use of the new facility for the benefit of as many people as possible from the village and surrounding area. Various other sports were considered but it was soon realised that Croquet was a perfect complement to football and cricket.

A Croquet Working Party was formed under the chairmanship of Councillor Steve Airton with the short term aim of establishing a croquet club of about 40 members with 2 lawns that were good enough to enjoy playing Golf Croquet and a longer term aim of increasing the membership to over 60 with 2 quality full-size lawns to be used for both Golf Croquet and Association Croquet.

Over the past year or so Hartley Wintney Croquet Club have worked closely with the Croquet Association (now Croquet England) who have been very supportive and contributed significantly to the acquisition of all the necessary equipment and the development of the lawns.

We held our Inaugural General Meeting in April 2023 (attended by about 40 people) and agreed the Club Constitution and elected the Committee. We immediately invited people to join the club and started playing in May 2023. We currently have 37 members and remain confident that we will reach our target of 60 members this summer. The quality of the lawns last summer was a lot better than we had hoped but in the autumn we spent a further £7,000 on them with the expectation to significantly improve them in time for Summer Season starting in April.

We play at The Lucy Pygott Centre which is part of the St Mary’s Housing Estate, off Dilly Lane on the Hook side of Hartley Wintney.

After joining the club, if you have not played before, you will be invited to attend a free “Coaching Session” which will show you how to hold and swing the mallet and introduce you to basic rules of Golf Croquet. All equipment will be provided so all you need is a pair of flat-soled shoes.

During the 2024 season we intend to introduce Association Croquet for the benefit of those that are interested and we will arrange appropriate coaching. Within our membership we are fortunate to have 2 international players who are keen to share their skills and knowledge!

We have not yet fixed our fees for 2024 but our aim is to keep the Annual Fee at about £100.

If you are at all interested in joining, do not wait for the summer, just send an email to [email protected] with your name and telephone number and we will add you to our “Prospective Members List” and we will keep you informed and invite you to join in the spring.

 

Hartley Wintney Croquet Club

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