This year marks 35 years since Ealing Croquet Club was officially established at Lammas Park and 2023 also marks a major achievement for the club – it is one of the venues for the 2023 Association Croquet World Championships that takes place from 15 July 2023 to 23 July 2023.
The endorsement as a venue for the Championships has been one of its highlights and the club says it has plans to further grow and improve its facilities as it seeks to extend its lease in Lammas Park from Ealing Council and build further on the work it does in the community.
On Saturday (15 July 2023), the Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Hitesh Tailor came to see the club and watch some of the games taking place as part of the World Championships.
It was the first time the Mayor had visited the club and he spoke of the benefits of the sport. Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Councillor Tailor said: “It’s been an amazing find. We’ve got the World Championships here today which was the impetus to come here but actually seeing this here in the middle of the park and the fact it’s open to all comers, which we don’t often realise and appreciate. So the potential is good.
“It’s been good to see the site and see some of the players in action. Also to try and understand the game and his rules is interesting. It’s one sport that actually a lot of people can play but didn’t realise they could. The potential is there. We want people to get healthy physically and mentally and all kinds of sports have that ability to help people on that way and deliver healthy lives.”
EALING.NEWS also had an opportunity to speak to Simon Tuke, chairman of Ealing Croquet Club.
Mr Tuke was delighted to have the Championships and the Mayor of Ealing at the club. He told EALING.NEWS: “It’s the biggest and the most prestigious event we’ve had here at the club. We’re one of six clubs hosting it and it’s fantastic to have our three lawns here and have some of the world’s top players around.”
Many people talk of the club as a hidden gem. Mr Tuke commented: “Although we’re in the middle of a public park, quite often people don’t realise we’re here. So we’re trying to spread the word as much as possible to have sessions where people can come along and just play for an afternoon and try it out. We want to make us as inclusive as possible because croquet is a fantastic sport that can be played by all ages by both sexes on equal terms. People often come along and think well, we’ll have a go and they won’t take it very seriously and within a couple of minutes they become very competitive and really going for it.”
Mr Tuke also spoke of the work they do in the community. He said: “We’ve had adults with learning disabilities here. We’re working with groups like University of the Third Age. It’s a very good sport for mental health especially during lockdown. A very broad range of people play it both for this club and throughout the country. It’s gentle exercise.”
The club is also planning for its future. Mr Tuke said: “We’ve been very well supported by the council. We’re just in the process of trying to sort out a lease here and then that means we can start looking at the ambitious development plans. We’ve got an Edwardian pavilion that’s a little bit faded and seen better days.
“There’s massive potential so we’re looking at renovating that and turning our other newer building into a cafe because the park doesn’t really have a cafe. So there’s definitely demand for that and make it a community centre and space which can be used by lots of different groups.”
Ealing Croquet Club is located at:
The Pavilion, Lammas Park,
Ealing, London W5 5JH
To find out more visit: www.ealingcroquet.org