December 2023 Newsletter

Ahmed el Mahdy won the 2023 retraVision GC Over 50’s World Championship

The 2023 retraVision Over 50's Golf Croquet World Championship was held in Western Australia between Saturday 14th October 2023 to Saturday 21st October 2023 at two venues, the Moorabinda Croquet Club (MCC) and the Bunbury Tennis Club (BTC).

2023 Over 50's Champion - Ahmed el Mahdy

Congratulations to Champion Ahmed El Mahdy from Egypt who now adds the Over 50's to his impressive list of titles, including GC World Champion in 2015. Showing strong form throughout the Championship, Ahmed beat fellow Egyptian Omar Fahmy in 3 straight games in the semi-finals with barely a clearance missed. In the other side of the draw Jenny Clarke from New Zealand won through to the final by beating Jeff Newcombe, one of the qualifiers. Jenny took the first game of the best of five final 7:5 with good clearing and some excellent hoop shots. However, Ahmed settled in patiently and his long hoops and accurate clearing were too strong, and he won the next three games.

The winners lineup

The Plate was won by Brett McHardy, from Australia who beat Steinar Olsen from Norway 2:1 in the final. In the Bowl, Australian Pete Landrebe came through 7:5 7:5 against Stephen Mulliner. Torben Bak, another qualifier who did well in the main event, reaching the last 16, made it to the final of the Shield but lost to Barry Jennings, also Australian.

The WCF should like to thank the ACA for hosting the Championship. Special thanks go to the Moorabinda Croquet Club and the Bunbury Tennis Club for the use of their excellent lawns. Our thanks also to the Manager Chris Clarke and to Director Max Kewish and to the many other officials and volunteers who organised the event.

Online GC Rules Training Pack – now available on the WCF website

The WCF are pleased to announce the launch of an online GC Rules training pack.

This suite of 28 modules has been formed into an easy-to-follow study plan. The aim of this pack is to provide remote clubs, whose players cannot easily travel to study or take an exam in person, with an online alternative. We hope this resource will be of benefit to these remote clubs by giving them the confidence that someone in their area has been able to take advantage of this training.

As well as for those in remote locations, the course may be used by anyone, either in part or in full. We expect it to be helpful to those who wish to:

i) refresh themselves on some of the rules
ii) use as pre-learning before attending an in-person course
iii) use for self-study before taking an exam with an Examining Referee

Details of the online test are to follow soon. On completion of the online test students will receive a certificate showing their result in the test. To become a qualified referee students will need to sit the relevant exam in their country.

The WCF should like to thank Ian Shore, from the Chiltern Croquet Academy, for creating these modules. He is currently busy working on the on-line test questions… watch this space!

2023 Hall of Fame new inductee: Mr Ahmed Hamroush from Egypt

Ahmed Hamroush, first President of the Egyptian Croquet Federation, is admitted to the WCF Hall of Fame

Mr Hamroush was instrumental in bringing Egyptian GC into the rest of the World, as well as the first President of the Egyptian Croquet Federation. His full citation can be read on the WCF website:  Hall of Fame Members

Mr Hamroush was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman as part of a documentary about the British Empire. Filmed at the Gezira Croquet Club in Cairo. Watch from about 33 minutes in.

Video clip >  The British Empire - Jeremy Paxman

Dawson Balls Mark 3 – Primary Colours now WCF approved

The WCF have now approved the new Mark 3 Dawson balls Primary colours. We hope to receive secondaries for testing very soon.

Paul Manwaring advises that he is now back in production and will be able to meet orders for Primary Colours very soon. His plan is to sell to Australian Clubs from 15 January 2024 onwards and international orders from 15 February 2024.

The WCF wish to thank Paul for his perseverance trying new 'recipes' following one of the key chemicals being banned. Well done for getting this across the line.

Meet the WCF Management Committee (MC) – From 1st January 2024, there are several new faces on the team

Congratulations to José Álvarez-Sala from Spain, who won the election for President. His term starts on 1st January 2024 and lasts four years. As President José hopes to guide croquet through further growth, something he has done admirably in Spain over the past two decades.

New on the Management Committee is Jeff Soo from USA. He brings a wealth of experience administering croquet as well as being a top player in the three versions played in the USA: Association, Golf and 6 Wicket (US Rules).

Samir Patel was successfully voted back onto the committee and so stays for another 4-year term. His experience and knowledge is an invaluable asset to the WCF. Staying on the committee is Begoña Elzaburu, Debbie Lines (Secretary-General), Graeme Roberts, Mohamed Raslan, Peter Payne (Treasurer) and Roberts Stafeckis.

Leaving the committee after four years is Hal Denton from the USA. We thank Hal for his work over the past few years and wish him well.

Thank you Ian Burridge

Ian Burridge: WCF President 2020-2023

After four years as President, Ian Burridge is moving on to other challenges. Ian started as President on 1st January 2020 and most ably guided the WCF through the difficult times of the pandemic. This involved the delay and re-organisation of many events and a complete re-think of the forward calendar.  Despite the challenges of the pandemic, during his time as President, Ian efficiently steered the MC through its day-to-day activities, such as event planning, grants to help small clubs, improving the regulations and much more. Specific projects he helped the WCF to deliver include:

Advantage GC – this version of handicap GC allows players of different standards to play a game that is more similar to level play and it is now played widely across all our Member countries.

European Regional Committee - Ian was very focussed on getting this set up and has been extremely active assisting the ERC committee since they started nearly two years ago.  Ian masterminded and managed the European Club League last year and will continue to manage it during 2024 – information on how to enter your club into the 2024 heats will be coming out soon.

The MC would like to thank Ian for his hard work and commitment. We wish him all the best for the future.

ERC Committee

The European Regional Committee was formed two years ago, and we are already saying goodbye to some of our first committee members as they finish their term of office. Thank you to Daniel Larsson, John Swabey and Kerstin Loretz for helping set up the ERC in its early years.

Remaining on the committee is Andrés Álvarez-Sala, whose term lasts until the end of 2025.

Roberts Stafeckis, the current Chair, also finishes his first term at the end of this year and he has put himself forward for re-election. Four places on the committee are available and we had five nominations, so we are currently in the middle of an election which finishes on 31st December 2023.

European Club League – the results

2023 ERC Club League Champions - Dulwich

The first year of the European Club League finished with the Grand Final, held at the Roehampton Club in London, England. Congratulations to Dulwich, our first winners.

Well done to the Finals Day team of Pierre Beaudry, Jonathan Claxton, Guy Scurfield and Andrew Hobbs.

Full details of all of the heats and the final can be found on the WCF webpage:

European Championships 2024

The ERC are running three Championships during 2024. For more information on each one, please follow the links below.

Those interested in playing should contact their national organisations to make themselves available. Please note, the deadlines are short, so do not delay.

2024 GC European Championship
This will be held between 16-19 May 2024 at the Sussex County Croquet Club in Southwick, near Brighton, England.

2024 GC European Women's Championship
This will be held between 1-4 August 2024 at the Saffrons Croquet Club, Compton, Eastbourne, England.

2024 AC European Championship
This event is returning after a gap of six years. It will be held between 15-18 August 2024 at the Carrickmines Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in Dublin, Ireland.