The first Training Course for Golf Croquet Coaches took place at Surbiton Croquet Club on 23rd and 24th March 2002, and as a result, 18 players are now appointed to the new officially recognised CA Coaching Grade of "Golf Croquet Coach", signified by a Silver Coach's badge.
The course comprised three parts, as follows. The first, based on material prepared by Michael Hague for the Coach Qualification Course, was designed to show students HOW to teach, concentrating on the requirements for planning, preparation and communication, and was led by Jennet Blake. The second, based on the second edition of "A Guide to Golf Croquet", prepared students to teach Golf Croquet to beginners and improvers by use of talks, demonstrations and role-playing, and was led by Daphne Gaitley and Roderick Sheen. The third, introducing students to advanced tactics and how to teach them, was led by Robert Fulford and Chris Sheen.
In addition, students were asked to prepare a written syllabus covering plans for the first two sessions of a Golf Croquet Course for eight beginners that they would deliver in their own environment - this homework, and the students' performance over the two days, was assessed by Bruce Rannie, Daphne Gaitley and Roderick Sheen, so that Coaching Awards could be correctly given.
All the participants joined in the role-playing with gusto, ensuring that the players did not assume anything about the skill of their pseudo-beginners, and that the reasons for the choice of shot were always explained, not just the mechanics of the stroke. The fine and mild (for March) weather helped, as did the friendly environment at Surbiton, and the always efficient and satisfying catering for coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. The classroom activities went well too, although explaining faults is easier on the court than in the clubhouse.
This was the first Golf Croquet Coaches course, and lessons learnt from feedback from coaches and students will be applied to future editions, planned for other parts of the country, so that the CA can ensure that the quality of its teaching and its teachers is increased, and therefore the standard of play increases throughout the domain.
The CA appreciates all the effort put into this initiative by Jennet Blake, who with Gerald Mitchell, wrote "A Guide to Gold Croquet" on which much of the playing material is based, and Daphne Gaitley, supported by Roderick Sheen, who led the groups on the playing material. That Robert Fulford and Chris Sheen, fresh from their experiences in the WCF World Golf Croquet Championships in Florida, put so much into the demonstrations and explanations on the second day, shows the emphasis that the CA is now putting into Golf Croquet at all levels - if we get the grounding right, then the aim to beat the Egyptians and win the Worlds for England is within reach.
Because CA Golf Croquet Coaches, who are permitted to teach in clubs other than their own, must be Associate Members, the following have been appointed to that Grade of CA-recognised Coach, and will receive Silver Badges once they are available:
Jennet Blake, Robert Fulford, Daphne Gaitley, Chris Sheen, Roderick Sheen.
David Bourne (High Wycombe and Surbiton), Jo Burnaby (Winchester), Richard Clark (Royal Tunbridge Wells), Andrew Cowing (CERN (Switzerland) and Cheltenham), John Hobbs (Royal Tunbridge Wells), Ken Mason (Sussex), Pamela Mason (Sussex), Gerald Mitchell (Harwell), John Munro (Blewbury, Harwell), Paul Robertshaw (Himley Hall), Edme Robinette (Bury St Edmunds) and Chris Wright (Purley Bury).
The following have been appointed to the CA-recognised Grade of Club Coach, where the standard of teaching is recognised, but because they are not Associates, the coaching is limited to their own club, or demonstrations organised by that club. They have received the CA Yellow Badge, and are encouraged to consider becoming Associates themselves, should they wish to be included as teachers in clubs other than their own:
Margaret Brown (Leighton-Linsdale), Maureen Brown (Chelmsford and Bentley), Philip Joseph (Hurlingham), Ronnie Richardson and Coralie Toogood (Chelmsford and Bentley).
In addition, recognising her achievements over the past few years in East Anglia and Yorkshire, Rosemary Longbottom is also appointed as CA Golf Croquet Coach and will receive her Silver Badge in due course.