NZCT has recently provided a grant of $12,457.50 to Croquet Mount Maunganui in a real boost for the game in Tauranga. The grant towards an upgraded irrigation system, coring of lawns, fertiliser and sand will enable the club to host a range of national and international events.
Croquet Mount Maunganui has over 80 members and its lawns are used almost every day – rain, hail or shine. The club has struggled recently to maintain the high standard of the lawns and reached out to NZCT for assistance.
“Our lawns are our greatest asset but also require a great amount of effort to maintain. Keeping them at a high standard not only benefits our members, but also enables the club to host national and international events,” says Dallas Cooke, Treasurer of Croquet Mount Maunganui. “Without funding assistance, we would not be able to complete this project.”
The existing irrigation system was first set up in 2010. Watering occurs most of the year on the sand-based lawns and over time some parts have not received adequate water as the irrigation system has deteriorated. The installation of new sprinklers will ensure the entire lawn will receive the water it needs.
“As a club we are elated and extremely grateful for the amount received. We have booked the coring machine for spring and arranged for the irrigation system to be upgraded during the off season. The funding has removed a large amount of financial pressure from club members,” says Dallas.
The grant from NZCT is timely as in November the club is hosting the Croquet New Zealand North Island Association Championship. The club has some ambitious plans over the next few years, including hosting the World Federation Golf Croquet Championship in February 2021. Croquet is growing in popularity in Tauranga and the grant will help the club meet this increase in demand.
“Croquet is becoming more popular with seniors who still wish to compete in a sport, who can no longer play golf, tennis and other more strenuous activities on the body. It is also becoming an option for business social events,” says Dallas. “Most of our members are over 60 but we also have a couple of 30+ year olds. Bay of Plenty Croquet is currently looking at starting a secondary school-age programme which our club is going to participate in.”
“As a club, we can't thank NZCT enough for this grant. Their support means we can fund important projects like this without increasing fees for members, enabling them to enjoy playing the sport they all greatly enjoy.”