A determined effort to introduce newcomers, through come and try days, coaching and improved visibility, has swelled numbers to their strongest in recent years.
And a new partnership between Croquet Victoria and the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), which re-affirms the health benefits of the sport, is set to grow participation even further.
“This is a group of local Queenscliff croquet Club players who exemplify the benefits of regular exercise and activity, fellowship and fresh air,” said club secretary Denise Spark.
“Many of the members are over 90 years of age and are formidable opponents.”
“Croquet is played all year round on a social basis as well as competitive, and is stimulating both physically and mentally,” Mrs Spark said.
Encouraging members to wear their red shirts when they take to the courts, on the prominent King and Hesse Street intersection, has been credited with helping to lift the club’s profile, as has its regular come and try days.
“Members participate in a region-wide pennant competition or play socially, and new members are always welcome,” said Mrs Spark.
The APA recently released two videos – one for participants and one for health professionals – highlighting the croquet’s benefits, particularly for the elderly, because of range of gentle physical movement involved.