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South East Council Constituency


Bill Arliss

I am not going to introduce myself by giving a long list of every thing I have done in the past as I feel it is far more important to concentrate on what I hope to be doing in the near future.

I fully support the change in structure. Having tiers of committees, quite often all dealing with the same matters and with final decisions being made by the least competent to make them, was a highly inefficient way of working and could not be allowed to continue. Despite these inefficiencies, I believe the CA achieved several of its main objectives extremely well. Typically, work on maintenance of the basic game with its laws, equipment standards, refereeing and coaching practices is first rate. Without this to support the game, neither the local grass root programs or the elite game would continue to flourish for very long.

In my view the main problems with our past governance has been that Council has become experts on how to do things but has completely lost its way on deciding what to do. The new proposed Council targets this area very specifically with the brief to concentrate on policies and strategies which should ensure the working committees concentrates on the correct issues in the future.

In order to do this, a prime requirement will be to identify the particular areas which have suffered due to lack of planning and those which now may be of greater significance with our increased membership. Without this realisation, there is little chance of any significant improvement. I would hope my past experience with both the local management and the national organisation will put me in an ideal position to make a good contribution to getting a better balance between the requirements of grass roots and elite play.

Proposer: Michael Oulton; Seconder: Lilian Holdsworth

Ian Cobbold

I started playing croquet some 15 years ago at Reigate Priory. In 2011 my wife and I were invited to start a croquet club in Cheam when a bowls club closed. The club started the following year with 80 members, including a small bowls section; most members had never seriously played croquet before. The club has thrived, and with a great deal of coaching, has won SECF tournaments and leagues - both Golf and Association. The club tries hard to cater for both social and competitive players and for GC and AC.

I later also joined Sussex County and now play Golf for it and Association for Cheam. Eighteen months ago I became the Development Officer for the SECF and so a member of the CA's Development Committee. I am an Examining Referee and Championship Referee for GC and a Grade 2 coach. I have been appointed as Tournament Referee for the GC World Championships.

I strongly support the change to a smaller CA Council with a more strategic role. I am keen to help the CA to foster the growth of croquet by appealing to all ages and standards of player, to encourage more women to progress to higher level competitions, to promote the playing of both codes and to make the organisation more effective in meeting the needs of individual members and clubs.

My career was spent in the Bank of England, latterly specialising in banking supervision, and when the Financial Services Authority was brought into being was one of those who transferred to the new organisation. I have strong analytical, organisational and management skills and a good knowledge of budgeting and financial management to assist my work on the Council if I am elected.

Proposer: Jonathan Isaacs; Seconder: Michael Hague

Jon Diamond

Jon was an IT consultant for 35 years and is now retired. He was dragged into croquet in 2000 by an ex-colleague living nearby in Tunbridge Wells, although he probably played a bit at Cambridge many years ago.

He liked it so much that he was asked to join the committee at the Royal Tunbridge Wells Croquet Club in 2004, becoming Chairman in 2008. He is also their webmaster, having created the site as one of the earliest club ones in 2003. It has just been revamped. The club is now going from strength to strength with nearly 70 members, the highest number ever.

He became a GC referee in 2008, just in time to officiate at the World Championships in Southwick that year, and became a qualified coach in 2015. He's equally good, or bad, (depending on how you look at it) at both AC and GC and regrets not trying to qualify for this year's GC Worlds because of his other croquet commitments.

He joined the South East Federation committee in 2016, and is their webmaster, and is on the Committee for the 2019 GC Worlds as well as webmaster.

He believes that his particular focus on the Council should be

  • to ensure that the IT strategy is fit for purpose and implementable in a reasonable time-frame.
  • to develop strategies to attract and recruit more players, especially under the age of 25.
  • to make coaching more widely available in all clubs and more used.
  • to increase the number of clubs in regions which are currently not well served.
  • to reverse the reduction in the number of people playing competitive croquet.

Proposer: Hilary Smith; Seconder: John Low

Jonathan Isaacs

Jonathan has a background in the Food Industry where he held several senior management positions in a large corporate company before creating a successful food sales and marketing company.

In the croquet world he held several positions on the Governing Body including Chairman of Council and chair of several CA Sub Committees before being appointed a Vice President.

In 2006 he introduced the Croquet Academy.

At club level he became Chairman of Sussex County Croquet Club for several years before becoming its President.

To secure a strong long term future for SCCC he developed a Strategic Plan to make the club a leading National & International venue for AC & GC Croquet. The plan included creating additional income for the club through coaching, hosting of corporate events, developing new large tournaments & improving the catering function. The proceeds have been re-invested in upgrading the facilities of the club including completely re-laying all their lawns. This has now been completed and the final phase will be to modernise their club house facilities.

In 2017 he stepped into the Chair The CA's Governance Changes Working Group and gained the agreement of Council & the Association to implement the new Governance structure.

When asked why he wanted to stand for the new Council he said: " Having fought hard to bring change to the CA's Governance, I want to see it through and help the revised structure to effectively develop croquet in our country."

Proposer: John Bowcott; Seconder: Clive Hayton

Samir Patel

I have been playing croquet since taking up the sport in 1994 as a student at Oxford University. I am now a member of Surbiton Croquet Club, with Association and Golf Croquet handicaps of -2 and -3 respectively. I have represented England and Great Britain in international matches since 2007, including as team captain since 2013. I have won the President's Cup and two Open Doubles Championships.

In support of croquet administration, I joined the Publishing committee in 2002, with an initial focus on the CA Website. I have since joined multiple committees, including International, ICT and Tournaments. The latter has included responsibility for maintaining and improving the CA's Tournament Regulations. I also manage several tournaments each year, ranging from Handicap Weekends to the Open Championships.

Internationally, I have been a member of the World Croquet Federation's Management Committee since 2015. As part of this role I created, and now run, the WCF Facebook Page (@WorldCroquet), and been the event lead for several AC and GC individual and team World Championships.

If elected to the CA's Council, my aim will be to ensure that the CA has a strategy to grow croquet in England:

  • Attracting and recruiting more players from a wider demographic.
  • Coaching available for those who want to improve.
  • Improving facilities, particularly in regions which are currently not well served.
  • Increasing the number of people playing competitive croquet.
  • Making a greater proportion of our money is available for investment in our sport, rather than for day-to-day running costs.

The new CA governance model offers us the opportunity to change how we run croquet. We need a new council to set strategy and direction, with measurable targets and goals, to get the best from the work done by volunteers within our committees in support of our sport.

Proposer: Hugh Carlisle; Seconder: Alison Maugham


The South East Council constituency covers the area of the South East and London Federation.

Election Cycle

Three representatives to serve as voting members of Council are to be elected in 2019. They will serve for two, three and four years respectively, to be decided by lot.


To vote, you must be a member of the Croquet Association (either a directly subscribed, e.g. Premium, member or a Standard member through your club) aged 16 or more registered to vote in the South East Constituency. You can vote online, or by post using this ballot paper. Voting closes on 3rd September.

Further Information

Please see the election rules for further information about the election process the guide to the skills sought. Nominations closed on 30th July, 2019.