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    PLAYERS WANTED: Long-term croquet player Ian Jackman is appealing for more people to join his beloved Kalimna Park Croquet Club. The Horsham club is in danger of folding unless more people play the game. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Appeal for Kalimna Park Croquet Club’s future


A Horsham sport club with almost 90 years’ history in the region is on the brink of closure if player numbers remain low. 

Participation at Kalimna Park Croquet Club – which started out in a family backyard with just a handful of members – is at a ‘critically low’ level. 

Club members are concerned the cost of running the club will be too great if player numbers remain low. Association croquet players have declined to just seven people. 

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Long-term player Ian Jackman, who has played with the club for more than 30 years, is one of the remaining club members. Mr Jackman said the game, which required strategic thinking similar to billiards, has kept him mentally and physically fit. 

“When you’re 60 and beyond, that’s an ideal time to start because you can’t do the real active sports,” he said.

“But it’s a sport that keeps the body pretty fit.

“This sport is keeping me alive. You can’t be reading books and working in the workshop every day of the week – it’s great to get out and mix with people.”

Mr Jackman said the downward trend in participation was commonplace across the region. 

“We just need more people to get involved,” he said.

“If we just got half-a-dozen people involved in the Kalimna Park club we’d probably be alright.” 

Mr Jackman, who has won the club championship three times, said he was willing to teach people how to play the game.  

“If someone comes here and wants to learn the game, I’m only too willing to show them,” he said. 

Kalimna Park Croquet Club formed in 1932 with 13 members. 

The club moved to its present site, off Baillie Street, in 1939. 

Mr Jackman said when he joined the club in 1985 there were about 40 players.

He said the club would need more members to join to remain financially viable. 

“The club had good membership, especially for the first 20 years,” he said.

“Now we’ve got a problem with keeping up with payments because of numbers.

“And without the help from former mayor Heather Phillips – she left the club $24,000 after she passed away –  we would be absolutely broke.”

People can call Fay Pearson on 0428 373 223 for more information about joining the club.

The entire January 13, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!