Kew Croquet Club
Gateball is a mallet sport similar to croquet. It is a fast-paced, non-contact, highly strategic team game, which can be played by anyone regardless of age or gender. Although relatively new in Australia, it is played by millions of people throughout Asia and South America.
Kew triumphs over adversity to win 2022 National Gateball Championship
Neither COVID delays nor unusually long grass could hold back the Kew team at the 2022 National Gateball Championship. The contest was held April first to third on the Gold Coast. Kew won all nine games they played, including an eventual 11-9 triumph in the final over a strong Southport side.
The Kew team had been beaten grand finalists at the previous National championship in 2019 and their captain had plotted a course to go one better in the next contest. However, 2020 and 2021 were not the smooth years of training and improvement originally envisaged. COVID restrictions frequently prevented the team from practising and from attending tournaments beforehand. Indeed, COVID delayed the National Championship by six months.
So it was with an air of heady freedom that the team embarked on the tournament. Unlike previous years, the tournament was held at a multi-purpose facility with excellent amenities, but uneven lawns with very long grass. The difficult lawns meant non-standard tactics were rewarded, with success found by the teams best able to adapt to gateball played on such an unusual surface.
Unreliable lawns also meant depth of talent in a team became a major factor. Here Kew excelled, with all team members playing to a very high standard and different players coming to the fore at different times.
After a moderate start involving close wins over weaker teams, Kew hit their straps on the second morning, playing as best as could be done in the conditions. Kew beat a strong Canberra side in the block stage before winning a semi-final over the Toronto Macs and the grand final over Southport Red.
The Australian Gateball Championships have been held on eleven occasions, generally every two years, and the win by Kew is only the third time that an Australian based club has won.
For more information, go to Gateball Australia at https://gateball.com.au/wordpress/ or Kew Croquet Club at https://croquetvic.asn.au/clubpage.php?clubnameclicked=Kew