From: The Melbourne Weekly – Port Phillip Ricochet wins the day for a convert to croquet
BY KATHRYN KERNOHAN
16 Jul, 2012 12:48 PM
BEFORE she picked up a croquet mallet for the first time four years ago, Darya Shores had reservations about the sport. ‘‘I’d always thought of croquet as very traditional and people wearing white uniforms and it didn’t appeal to me,’’ the Elwood resident says.
Persuaded by a friend to give it a try, Shores found herself captivated. ‘‘I thought all it was was hitting the ball through the hoop, but to my surprise there was a hell of a lot more to it than that,’’ she says, laugh. ‘‘The more and more I played it and understood the game a bit more, the more I enjoyed it.’’
Shores, who works three days a week in recruitment, looks forward to each Saturday when she strolls down to Elwood Croquet Club for a couple of hours of action.
Croquet, established in England in the mid-1800s, incorporates elements of snooker, billiards, golf and chess. There’s a handful of versions of the game; the oldest and most common being association croquet.
Shores’ favourite version is Ricochet, which beginners find easier to pick up. ‘‘I find Ricochet to be faster – you get to hit the ball further and it’s quite strategic.’’
Despite being a relative newcomer to the sport, Shores recently won Elwood’s annual summer Ricochet competition, defeating club president Ian Davidson in the process.
‘‘I don’t consider myself a consistently good player but I really focused on the competition and I was thrilled when I won.’’
Like lawn bowls, croquet is a very social sport, says Shores. ‘‘I absolutely love to spend an afternoon at the club, play a couple of games and at the end of the day you’re tired from breathing in fresh air from the beach and you can relax with a glass of wine,’’ she says.
Elwood Croquet Club is open in winter, and holds free “come and try” sessions from 12.50pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On October 16, the club will hold a try-out day for seniors, which includes a free sausage sizzle and afternoon tea.