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Brooklyn woman part of world first for croquet

Aug 30th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News


LIZ McLay is fundraising to represent New Zealand in the inaugural women’s croquet world championships.

Women usually compete against men in tournaments and this is the first world championships solely for women.

The week-long competition will be held October 20-28 in Cairnlea, Melbourne at a venue specifically designed for croquet tournaments.

Mrs McLay, right, is one of about 14 players representing New Zealand at the tournament.

“Funding is terribly difficult,” she says.

The players pay for everything themselves, and she says accommodation is usually the most expensive part of a tournament.

“A whole swag of us are staying in the same motel, sharing units,” says Mrs McLay.

She has been fundraising with a stall at the Brooklyn market, and has a raffle organised with the help of the Parliament Flight Centre Lambton Quay thanks to manager Lesley Masters.

Mrs McLay says while the tournament is expensive the game itself is not.

“The only bit of equipment people need to buy is a mallet,” she says.

Mallets are personal to the individual player, and the different types of shafts available mean they have different levels of flexibility depending on the type of game played.

“My current mallet cost me $290 which you compare with golf clubs, they can be in the thousands,” says Mrs McLay.

Clubs provide the rest of the equipment, and the subscription fee for a year is around $145.

Mrs McLay says croquet is a good sport for men, women and children to play.

“Croquet is very much what you want it to be, so it can be entirely social or it can be serious,” she says.

Mrs McLay plays in Newtown for the Wellington Municipal Club.

She is deaf in one ear and has a hearing aid in the other and says she sometimes leaves it out so she can focus on the game.

This is only a problem when she plays doubles.

“Sometimes my partner has to do a song and dance to get my attention,” she says.

Mrs McLay got into croquet through her first husband, who was an avid player.

“He was a world champ and kept saying ‘you’ll love it’,” she says.

To purchase a raffle ticket phone Liz McLay on (04) 389 8003. Raffle tickets are $2 each or $5 a book and there is a choice of prizes with a gift basket or a $200 flight centre voucher. The raffle will be drawn on the September 25.

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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