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CA Diplomas Awarded in 2023

Alex McIntyre - Nottingham CC

photoAlex McIntyre

Alex joined the club in 2014 and quickly got to grips with croquet, his AC handicap rapidly improving to minus a half. He has regularly played in AC (and occasionally GC) matches at various levels and captained the Mary Rose team for some years.

He has taken a full part in the social life of the club, and supported it, voluntarily, in committee roles, managing tournaments, DIY tasks and - sometimes with his wife Alison - catering. He has also taken a lead as lawns manager in liaising with and supporting our groundsman, and forging beneficial relationships with our landlords (the city council), with other local sports clubs and with businesses to obtain extra materials or use of loaned / hired equipment.

Giving freely of his expertise as a professional architect, Alex planned, masterminded and project-managed the 2020-2021 major refurbishment of our two listed pavilions, including finding an excellent contractor within our budget after a challenging tendering process. During this period he also took a leading role in the project to relay three disused bowling greens to create our four superb west lawns, and to extend our automatic irrigation system to that area. He now has his beady eye on our east lawns. He has also supported a succession of pavilion and site improvement works, sometimes including obtaining listed building consent.

Alex also serves as security officer, successfully negotiating with the council for improved perimeter security, and specifying, purchasing, and helping to install and monitor the CCTV system.

All this has been accomplished alongside holding a professional job and family responsibilities. The club is indebted to Alex and commends him for the CA diploma.

Barbara Dean - Dowlish Wake CC

photoBarbara Dean

She has been the Treasurer for Dowlish Wake Croquet Club for many many years. Her accounting is accurate to the penny and her recall of invoices and payments made and received is quite remarkable. Barbara looks after the club's money as if it were her own.

Not only is she an extremely efficient Treasurer she also keeps all our members' records up to date and submits to the CA.

She is responsible for making sure our equipment is properly insured and indeed when our club House was a victim of arson in 2018 she negotiated with the loss adjuster to get the maximum amount of funds to rebuild it.

And most importantly she makes sure we always have a plentiful supply of tea, coffee and biscuits which our members can enjoy free of charge

Barbara is also a very active member of the club and is a highly valued league player, and of course, calculates the away match expenses due.

They say that nobody is indispensable but in this case that is not true, we would be hard-pressed to find another person that is as efficient and so very pleasant at asking our members for Their subscriptions.

Our Treasurer is our Treasure and we would be lost without her.

Robert 'Bob' Potter - Woodhall Spa CC

photoRobert 'Bob' Potter

Bob was introduced to Golf Croquet in 2004 and the game immediately became his passion. Judged the Club's 'Most Improved Player' in 2006, he joined the Committee in 2007, was elected Chairman the following year, and served for nine years.

Whilst Chairman he qualified as Grade 1 Coach and his knowledge and expertise, coupled with his affable nature, remain in great demand. His local coaching sessions are always well attended and, for the same reasons, he remains a popular visiting Coach at other clubs.

In 2009 Woodhall Spa started its own u3a and Bob quickly formed a Croquet Interest Group. And so engaging has he been in this that it has become the most successful single recruiting organ for the Club - and he is still running that Group today.

During his Chairmanship Bob introduced many positive improvements. One notable item was the fencing to protect any passing public from high-speed wayward balls, usually his! A much longer-term lease on the lawns was also secured, which enabled him to plan and oversee the building of a Pavilion to replace the former gazebo. In addition, grass cutting became the Club's direct responsibility so he raised a team of 'volunteers' to join him. He eventually retired from that team at the age of 82, in 2019.

Furthermore, every year the Club has a Fun Day with croquet-inspired games invented and manufactured by Bob to challenge the membership. Of course, there is a cup for the winner, but the wooden spoon, handmade by him, is justifiably the most sought-after prize!

Now, after almost two decades of outstanding contribution to members, the Club and to croquet overall, Bob remains a cornerstone of knowledge, instruction, invention, expertise, good practice, and humour, and still enters competitions whilst maintaining a handicap of 5.

Heather Bennett - St Albans CC

photoHeather Bennett

Heather has been a stalwart of the St Albans club for well over a decade. Officially she's the club secretary and handicapper (and for a number of years the treasurer) but in reality, she is the lifeblood of the club covering most things including:

chief coach, all of the players in St Albans (and many in other clubs) have received the benefit of Heather's coaching,

chief hoop setter, every year come rain or shine she leads the team that sets up the lawn,

running an introductory course every year for at least five years and so bringing many people into the sport,

liaison with the ground staff: Heather has been the main contact between the club and the council contractors who maintain the lawn, establishing a good working relationship with many of those who work in Clarence Park,

taking responsibility for our equipment shed and the area around the lawn in the winter, ensuring that any repairs are carried out in advance of the season so that no safety issues arise,

occasional tournament organiser,

a key member of the St Albans team in most competitions (including a run of helping the club get to the Secretary's Shield final three years in a row).

Away from the club she plays regularly in tournaments across the country (if you search for Heather Bennett on you get 6 pages of results!), and was awarded the CA's Steel Memorial Bowl as the most improved female AC player in 2021. It feels like wherever you go in the country playing croquet everyone knows Heather. She is a great ambassador for our club.

Jim Beach - Glamorgan CC

photoJim Beach

Since Jim Beach became a member of the croquet section of GLTCC, he has taken to playing like a duck to water. He plays Golf Croquet to a decent club standard with the handicap and level play teams and has taken part in CA national events. This year, he debuted for Wales in the GC Home Internationals.

Jim has been a regular helper at any 'come and try it' sessions that the club has held and is a regular face at the club afternoons. However, it is his engineering skills that are a tremendous asset to our club. He maintains the club's mowers, keeping them in good working order all year round. He has produced a number of beautiful wood-turned bases for new club trophies.

During the past few seasons, we have recently relaid our lawns, allowing the club to become Townsend Award winners this year. It is this that has seen Jim rise up to the challenge. He has become one of the members of the Lawns Advisory Group when it comes to lawn care and other associated lawn work. Along with Mike Parry, he is there at the lawns twice a week cutting and caring for the new lawns and keeping the surrounding areas neat and tidy. His exceptional work during the years has been a godsend for the club. Without members like Jim, clubs would not survive.

John Hannah - Craig Y Don CC

Our Chairman, John Hannah, retires at our AGM after seven years in office.

photoJohn Hannah

Over those years he has been instrumental in increasing our club membership by almost 100% largely through his cultivation of the local U3Arunning weekly drop-in sessions for those interested and instruction groups for those who join.

Throughout his seven years he has been active in raising grants for the club which have enabled us to build a new clubhouse with running water and electricity, toilets and more recently the installation of a defibrillator on our clubhouse to be used if necessary by members and the general public. The total he has been instrumental in raising is well in excess of £40,000.

We had a rather run-down garden area adjacent to our lawns intended for use by the local playschool which had become neglected and overgrown. John obtained funds and secured labour to turn this into an attractive garden area with seating to provide a picnic area for members, visiting clubs and spectators and for the enjoyment of children from the play school.

This season he has achieved a long-held ambition of the club to enter a North West Federation Golf league which has involved the rearrangement of our court set up to provide court sizes suitable to Federation requirements.

John has given tremendous service to the club and continues to work tirelessly for the benefit of club members. His enthusiasm for croquet generally and this club in particular has ensured that croquet is now very much an integral part of the local sports scene.

John Harris - York CC

photoJohn Harris

John Harris, a croquet novice in 2002, became Chairman of York Croquet Club in 2012, since when he has been instrumental in the expansion of the Club from one lawn to four; in the development of club play; in driving recruitment to ensure the Club's survival; in raising the profile of the Club nationally by hosting CA tournaments. He has led the Club in its outreach to the local community and negotiations with the council landlord, steering the club finances in a positive direction by assiduously applying for and securing grants, aiming always to instil an atmosphere of welcome and inclusion and valuing highly the contributions of all club members.

As the current Chair of the CA Coaching Committee, John authored the revised AC Manual for Coaches (2022), which emphasises enjoyment of the game, is light on jargon and gradual in its introduction of skills. As a regular contributor to the Croquet Gazette his articles have promoted short croquet and have celebrated his interest in the history of the game.

John, a retired headteacher and Grade 1 AC coach, has raised standards of play at York CC, pioneering a programme of introductory courses for beginners and identifying coaching potential in members. With his trademark diplomacy, John secured a home at York for the Northern Croquet Academy; as NCA coordinator John guides its mission to provide croquet coaching, development and qualification nationally for both codes of the sport.

A modest man, John does not regard status but wants to make a difference. He mucks in with the life of the Club and can often be found hoovering the clubhouse. He is highly regarded by all club members for his drive and vision, for his immense hard work, for his calmness under pressure and unfailing courtesy. Summed up by one member: 'A dedicated cruise missile, determined to reach his goal whatever challenges lie in the way'.

John Steel - Broadwas CC

photoJohn Steel

John Steel is the sort of person that any croquet club would be very keen to have as a member! Broadwas has been fortunate to have had him for over 20 years. His contribution over that time has been immense. When he joined in the early days of the club, we only had one lawn cut into the outfield of the village cricket ground. Now, there are five lawns all with their individual eccentricities and 80 playing members.

Throughout that time John has been a keen member always promoting the club and coming up with innovative ideas to improve the playing facilities and encourage social activities. With a keen interest in horticulture, John took on responsibility for lawn care and mowing and continually improved the playing surface as well as overseeing improvements to the pavilion. Diligently searching out local and national grant funding he overcame a major rabbit problem that developed in our rural location by installing rabbit-proof fencing around the entire ground and pushed for a fourth and then a fifth lawn to accommodate the growing member base. Sometimes, as Chairman, I found it difficult to keep up with John's enthusiastic ideas!

John has been Club President for many years and was delighted to win the inaugural Veterans GC trophy in 2019.

It's impossible to list all the initiatives that John has taken on but the thriving nature of our club bears witness to his dedicated service.

Norma Rayne - Thames Valley CC

Her outstanding efforts as the Founder and Chair have been influential in fostering a thriving croquet community and attracting new players to the game.

photoNorma Rayne

Since the club's inception in 1990, Norma has been an instrumental figure in its development, continuously working towards the club's growth and ensuring its members have a vibrant and enjoyable experience. Her commitment to promoting the sport of croquet has been evident through her own participation as a member of the England Croquet Team, which has undoubtedly inspired and motivated others. Norma initiated an annual inter-club competition within the Southern Federation with the idea of visiting each club and titled the Norma Rayne Competition.

Under Norma's leadership, membership has grown significantly to over thirty-five active members and this growth is a testament to her ability to create a welcoming and inclusive environment, where players of all skill levels can come together to learn, practice, and enjoy the game. Norma introduced Ladies' and Men's Day competitions with both becoming hugely popular.

The impact of her leadership extends beyond the club's growth and has been instrumental in creating a supportive and nurturing environment for both new and seasoned players alike. Her mentorship and guidance have been invaluable, helping members develop their skills, improve their game, and fostering a strong sense of togetherness among the members.

Considering Norma's unwavering dedication, exceptional leadership, and remarkable contributions to the T.V.C.C, we strongly believe she is highly deserving of recognition from the Croquet Association. We recommend her for an award that celebrates her outstanding service, commitment, and positive impact on the croquet community.

Jon Diamond - Royal Tunbridge Wells CC

photoJon Diamond

Jon joined the Royal Tunbridge Wells Croquet Club in 2000 after being introduced to the game by an ex-colleague. An active member from the start, he joined the club's management committee in 2004 and was elected Chairman in 2006, the role he has held to date. A keen player of both AC and GC, Jon qualified as a GC referee in 2008 and as a coach in 2015.

He plays a key role in guiding all aspects of the club's activities and is directly involved in many areas. He runs regular AC and GC club coaching sessions and organises, as well as manages, the club's internal competitions and open tournaments. The club receives a very welcome financial boost from the several private events which he organises each year, ably assisted in their delivery by the club members.

Jon designed the club and the SECF websites and he continues to maintain them both. He spends a good deal of time keeping their comprehensive content up-to-date so that they continue to provide valuable sources of information, current and historical.

His "Introduction to Croquet" courses, which he runs two or three times at the start of each season, have taught the basics of AC and GC to many members of the public over the years and have been instrumental in the club reaching its current record membership.

His enthusiasm for the game and welcome extended to the participants of these courses has provided a steady flow of new members to the club. Jon is always eager to hand on his knowledge which is much appreciated by all members both new and long-standing.

Lindy Jordan - Ealing CC

Since joining the club Lindy has been tireless in her efforts to strengthen it and extend its reach. Her official title of Treasurer doesn't begin to do justice to the extent of her activities.

photoLindy Jordan

On the financial front, she has brought rigour to our accounts, mapping different membership and funding scenarios, and helping steer us through the process of becoming a registered charity. She has played a central role in our plans to refurbish our Edwardian pavilion, particularly in negotiations with Ealing Council. Undaunted by the complexities of this process, Lindy continues to prove to them the value of having croquet in the borough. She has also successfully pursued grants for a number of improvement projects.

On the wider recruitment front, Lindy has been instrumental in setting up and running weekly Pay & Play sessions, which in 2022 attracted nearly 450 participants, as well as Introduction to Croquet courses, innovative Taster memberships, corporate events, children's parties and much else. To ensure that these were properly run she persuaded three other members to join her on a Coach Qualification Course - which also means that there is now ample coaching capacity for new players. Lindy also organises a popular internal GC competition which brings members together and helps them feel involved and welcomed.

It is no exaggeration to say that the activities initiated by Lindy have revitalised the club, and her can-do attitude is infectious: our membership has increased from 49 at the start of the 2021 season to over 80 in 2023. Her activities also amply demonstrate the club's commitment to wider and more diverse use of its facilities and its success in achieving this. On top of all that, Lindy even finds the time to play a bit of croquet!

Nora Burbridge - Tyneside CC

Nora Burbridge has been a member of Tyneside Croquet Club (TCC) for more than 30 years and has served on the Committee for almost all that time in addition to representing the club in both Association and Golf Croquet.

She has been tireless in doing everything possible to ensure that the club flourishes in every way and is always the first to volunteer for all jobs from chopping down foliage to cleaning the clubhouse.

photoNora Burbridge

Nora's greatest contribution, however, has been in working with, encouraging, supporting and coaching new members. She is a qualified coach of both Association and Golf Croquet and uses her knowledge and experience to coach both games. She also makes huge efforts to assist and mentor Golf Croquet players to make the transition from Golf Croquet to Association Croquet.

All new members of the club are met with a warm welcome from Nora and she has worked with them, individually and in groups, to ensure that they develop sound technique but also are imbued with a love of the game. She is enthusiastic, endlessly patient and totally unselfish in giving her time to everyone who is learning. Through her example she has inspired countless new players, helped them to become accomplished players and to have a deep-rooted love of the game.

The club wholeheartedly recommends Nora for the CA Diploma.

Peter Wilson - Fylde CC

Peter entered the croquet community in 1989 and has been involved at Club, Federation and CA level for over 30 years in administration and in competition.

CA Roles

Peter is a firm advocate of correct behaviour and etiquette in competitions. He always has the Law Book in his back pocket. Wife Liz is relieved that the book is no longer Red - a colour that does not go well with rain and running dye.

photoPeter Wilson

North West Federation Roles

Fylde Croquet Club Roles

Playing Career

Peter achieved the Gold Merit Award in 2005 and promotes Association Croquet by example and passing on tips and techniques to other players and learners. Successes:

photoLiz Kinsell

Liz Kinsell - Winslow CC

Liz Kinsell has been a member of Winslow Croquet Club for 15 years, 6 years as Secretary and 7 years as Chair. During her time as Chair she has comprehensively reviewed and overhauled the governance of the Club establishing a club constitution as well as introducing health and safety provisions, our safeguarding policy and compliance with GDPR. On a more practical note, Liz has immersed herself in lawn care and maintenance and has been instrumental in revitalising our lawn.

She always welcomes new members warmly, giving them instruction, and is our point of reference when we need the rules interpreted or more coaching.

Liz organises all our internal competitions, usually a doubles tournament, occasionally a singles day and an end-of-year Croquetathon, which are good fun. She has regularly participated in friendlies with local clubs, played in league matches in the Southern region and taken part in Ladies Day. She encourages our members to do the same as she says the experience improves our game.

After 30 years in existence, our Club equipment had seen better days. So, over the last two years she has overseen the funding and purchase of a new mower and new croquet hoops and balls. Following a period of vandalism our surrounding wooden fence had become almost beyond repair. As the new East-West Rail route passes through Winslow, she has negotiated with their Community Fund, and they have kindly donated security fencing to enclose our lawn. For the first time in years, we can start playing without having to clear up rubbish.

Liz is now hoping to move to Norfolk and our loss is their gain. Before she leaves, we would love to see her recognised by a very much-deserved CA Award.

photoPeter Wingent

Peter Wingent - Littleton CC

Peter Wingent has been a member of Littleton Croquet Club since 2010. Throughout the time that he has been associated with the Club his contributions have been many and varied in the support of play and of other players. Before he leaves us for pastures new, we would like to nominate him for formal recognition from the Croquet Association.

His enjoyment of the sport has been reflected in his many playing and organising activities. Peter organised and competed in both Internal and External team competitions at a high standard, helping to promote AC within the Club. On the lawns in GC Mix-Ins he has used his expertise, offering helpful informal coaching to beginners and less experienced players (including your writer) to improve their playing and enjoyment of the sport.

A Committee member for 8 years, particularly as Association Captain, Peter contributed much to the functioning of the Club. Maintaining the lawns through turf care, undertaking regular marking of the white lines, regularly volunteering for clear-up and maintenance days, annually sourcing and managing the engraving of glass trophies for internal competitions and helping in the initiation and development of the Club's website have all been done by Peter.

He also initiated the Club's "International Games", a social competition between teams representing the Home Nations.

In 2017 he further demonstrated the variety of his talents by delivering an interesting and knowledgeable talk 'Flying to the Empire', on the between-the-wars delivery of international airmail, as a successful fundraising event for the Club. He has also been a keen player of short tennis.

His quiet efficiency and reliability, and keen presence on the lawns, will be missed by all.

photoMargaret Huckett

Margaret Huckett - Taunton Deane CC

Margaret Huckett stepped down from the Committee last year after 25 years of contributing her guidance, expertise, and efforts to Taunton Deane Croquet Club.

She has held different roles over the years, often having more than one role at a time! Latterly she was Treasurer, Match Secretary and on the Lawns Committee. A daunting task, but Margaret dealt with all these roles efficiently and methodically. She developed each role, setting a system and standard to be followed by those who took over roles from her.

At Committee meetings Margaret's knowledge of past decisions in the development of the club has helped tremendously.

Besides her roles on the Committee, she was the Federation Team Captain for a number of years. Margaret is a good AC player, enjoying success in team competitions.

Margaret is now looking to enjoy social play but is always ready to offer help and advice when needed.

A member who has given such dedicated service over such a long period of time is extremely valuable and we are grateful for her careful guidance in the club's development and growth.

Marjorie Eldon - Huddersfield CC

photoMarjorie Eldon

In 1996 Marjorie Eldon joined Huddersfield Croquet Club. Marjorie was immediately an active club member and in 2000 she joined the committee. One year later Marjorie became club Vice-President and then President in 2003. Whilst President, Marjorie introduced regular committee meetings for the club starting in 2007. Marjorie stood down from the President's role in 2008 and was then re-elected to the post in 2014 for a second term of office.

Marjorie has always been an enthusiastic member of Huddersfield Croquet Club, taking part in all the club competitions, the fun days, taster sessions and coaching. Marjorie has been a CA Grade 1 association coach since 2018 and has coached both students from the local sixth form college and members of the local u3a to play croquet. Indeed, she still coaches our newer players and supports the coaching team for our annual introduction to croquet course.

In 2008 Marjorie became the club lead for the Yorkshire Federation full lawn matches; a post she still holds. Marjorie has ably steered our teams to wins in the Yorkshire league. Huddersfield entered the Secretary's Shield and were runners-up in the final in 2004; of course, Marjorie was in the Secretary's Shield team.

In 2022 Huddersfield Croquet Club celebrated their 30th birthday and Marjorie was involved in the 30-hour non-stop playing of croquet in the 30-hour Croquetathon. Marjorie is a shining example of a good club member, always supportive of the club's officers and taking part in all the club activities.

Thank you, Marjorie.

photoMick Haytack

Mick Haytack - Ashby CC

Mick has been a member of the club for over 20 years and has served on the committee for most of that time including seven years as chairman

During his time as chairman, he obtained grants from several sources to raise the cash required to lay our lawn three. He also organised a promises auction which raised over £1000 towards the project.

He then obtained some smaller grants to build the extension to the existing shelter the installation of which he oversaw. He then organised the new building to be lined with wood and together with another club member they completed the installation of the lining. He donated and fitted a set of shelves for the new building.

He has joined many working parties in his time as a club member, he has run the annual quiz on several occasions and has run other quiz evenings based on popular TV shows such as Eggheads, 15-1, Pointless and the unbelievable truth. He has also organised board games evenings which have been greatly appreciated by our members.

He has managed our major GC event, the National Forest Championship, for the last four years and the local heat of the All-England AC qualifying event on three occasions.

Mike O'Brian - Ashby CC

photoMike O'Brian

Mike has been a member of the club for over twenty-five years and has always made a major contribution to improvements at the club. Over the years he has been instrumental in raising money for, or personally financing many projects for the benefit of the club.

He designed and built the first of our shelters without any contribution from club finances. He then designed and installed a security housing for our main mower, again at his own expense.

He has been a regular member of working parties and he built the lute which helps to spread the top dressing.

He organises one of our annual events, the "bottle" challenge and each year he manages to persuade a top-class player to make a guest appearance.

During his time as a member, he has represented the Club in major tournaments and contributed to successes at Inter-Club and Inter-County levels. He has also competed, as an individual, with moderate success, in National and International competitions.

In short, he is a most valuable club member and he thoroughly deserves a CA merit award

Mike Parry - Glamorgan CC

photoMike Parry

Mike Parry has been a member of the club for well over 20 years, including during our previous guise as Dyffryn CC. He has supported the club in many ways on the playing side - even to the extent of being available for Association team play when he much prefers Golf Croquet! Mike is always willing to help out at 'come and try it' sessions the club has held. He was selected to play for Wales in the WCF Team GC event last season.

It is in recent years that he has come into a new lease of life at the club. As a trusted member of the Lawns Advisory Group, he has taken care of the newly relaid lawns, along with Jim Beach, over the past couple of years including the winter care. The club was successful in being awarded the Townsend Award this season. Mike's work played a large part in that success. Winter sees him at the lawns cutting, whatever the weather, as necessary and completing the other essential jobs that all clubs need doing. This grass-cutting includes the care of the surrounding grass at our home. Members like Mike are worth their weight in gold.

Tony Newport - Eynsham CC

Tony has been a key member of Eynsham Croquet Club (ECC) since joining the club in 2010. He won the Grass Roots National Competition in 2012 and subsequently won the Centre Stage Competition in 2013

Tony took up the role of Club Secretary in 2011 and continued until his recent retirement due to family commitments. He was a tireless, enthusiastic secretary and club handicapper, meticulously conveying relevant CA missives and competition information for both GC and AC members.

photoTony Newport

Over the last 12 years, Tony has also represented the club in annual doubles GC competitions being captain in the last six years. The culmination of steadily improving performances in the annual regional competition has seen ECC winning the Southern League for the last two years running. Tony also ran numerous internal club competitions, including the annual random doubles and Brian Hitchins Memorial events. Many newcomers have benefitted greatly from Tony's enthusiasm and coaching skills despite not holding a formal qualification.

When Countryfile Live was held at Blenheim Palace, Tony was key to organising the preparation of the area for the Croquet Court and coordinated the club's assistance in helping visitors making our contribution a key success for 2 years.

The club has relied on a random collection of sheds to house equipment. Following the award of a small bequest Tony applied his organisational skills to the delivery and construction of a much-admired clubhouse. He masterminded the fundraising to complete the budget and then supervised the complete build to include the clubhouse built on a raised platform to avoid periodic flooding. The fact that it all came in on time and on budget is an accolade to Tony's leadership.

Tony's contribution has been immense and ECC is considerably stronger due to his enthusiastic contribution over the years.

photoMike Town

Mike Town - Woking CC

Mike Town has been a member of Woking Lawn Tennis and Croquet club since 1985. He is an AC and GC player of international and county (Yorkshire, Hampshire, and Surrey) standard. Throughout his playing career, he has remained a dedicated club member. He was club chairman from 2013 to 2019 and remains influential on the club's croquet committee.

Additionally, he has managed the club's inter-club AC and GC matches, the SECF 'A' league matches and, particularly, the club's season-long tournaments, in which he has always been an enthusiastic participant. Club members benefit enormously from his willing participation in handicap club events.

For many years he has used his organisational talents to manage major events, most notably the recent AC World Championships and the forthcoming Women's GC World Championships. He is the tournament director of the National Selectors competitions. He has also managed the AC Inter-County Championship and other prestigious tournaments, such as those at Roehampton and Budleigh Salterton.

Mike Town's contribution to croquet embraces international, national and club levels. The width of his involvement in the sport has probably been unique.

Pauline Windle - Swanage CC

photoPauline Windle

Pauline joined Swanage Croquet Club shortly after its formation 15 years ago. As with any fledgling club, it needed a lot of work and enthusiasm, that's what Pauline provided.

Among her numerous roles were Chairperson, Secretary, Membership Secretary, Clothing Organiser and Currently Vice Chair.

When visitors or new members came to play, she would welcome them, take them out to play croquet, where she encouraged people by recognising when they improved and praised their achievements. Always making them feel at ease.

Our Croquet Club is a very sociable place and Pauline was the first to offer help and having had a wonderful singing voice she entertained us at our annual dinner.

Last year our club lost its ground, and we were homeless Pauline was one of the people who stepped up to try to secure a new home, she researched and visited sites to ascertain their suitability and attended every meeting (of which there were many).

During all these years Pauline has experienced poor health and often found it difficult to walk to the club, but she carried on taking part with an upbeat attitude.

We are very lucky to have a person like her.

Every club should have a Pauline.

Jean Healey - Maldon CC

Jean is a founder member and the first Secretary of Maldon Croquet Club and has been instrumental in it's growth from a handful of members to the vibrant, inclusive club of nearly 70 members that it is today.

photoJean Healey

Jean was the Club's dynamic Secretary for many years and is currently its shrewd and proactive Treasurer managing the Club's finances with a firm hand and preparing budget forecasts with clarity and realism.

Jean has been a prime mover in the Club's searches for a permanent first-class home, a search which is now coming to fruition.

For the past 10 years, Jean has been the Club's highly respected main coach conducting structured teaching for new members and mentoring for more established players. Her friendly, knowledgeable and encouraging approach is appreciated by all

Jean has worked tirelessly with others to develop the Club's initiative "Croquet in the Community" directed at those with disabilities, liaising with charitable bodies, sourcing appropriate equipment, ensuring safe access to our courts and much more.

Typical of Jean, she plays a "vigorous" but canny game with formidable take-out shots making her a valued member of the Club's league teams which, with her input, have been very successful over the years.

In summary, Jean Healey demonstrates all the outstanding attributes required of a CA Diploma and the whole Club commends her to you.

Sarah Thornhill - Peterborough CC

photoSarah Thornhill

Sarah joined me at the Croquet Club in 2014, shortly after I started a GC section. She has been my righthand organiser and fellow committee member ever since. Over the years GC members have increased from about 6 members to 24, although some AC is still played too.

Sarah is there for every occasion, she helps with hoop setting at the beginning of the season, on arrival she sets the lights in the Pavilion, opens up the window shutters, puts on the wall boiler ready for the tea break. Then she is at the Equipment cupboard putting out the hoops and balls ready for the first members to arrive. I can count on Sarah at every stage as she there coaching newcomers in their first games. Sarah is also a keen photographer, and she is often at matches keeping a record of the tournaments. Some of these skills are used in designing the flyers for our Come and Try it Days. Sarah has helped when we have travelled to Open Gardens Centre events to demonstrate the Game and to give people experiences of Croquet.

During home Tournaments the club provide lunches. Our aim is to ensure those making long journeys, who spend a weekend with us, will have a good experience. Peterborough would like to be known as a welcoming Club on all levels. Sarah often helps with the food, is chief dishwasher, and organiser. She sorts out artistic pottery serving dishes, serviettes, tablecloths and loads up the car with all the food and unloads at the other end.

An invaluable friend and an invaluable member of the club. I highly recommend Sarah in recognising her contribution to the Club for the CA Diploma.

Paul Jenkin - Fowey CC

photoPaul Jenkin

We would like to nominate Club member, Paul Jenkin, for a Croquet Association Diploma mainly because of the support he has given over many years to all Fowey Club members and for his sterling work in keeping the club active, when possible, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. He has been passionate about the game of Golf Croquet since he joined the Club in 2006.

For new members, he offers coaching too often at the expense of his own game. Garden machinery he has repaired for the club, and he works weekly on the lawns, cutting and scarifying our three half-size lawns. Marking out the lawns is a further task that he does, and he also carries out the frequent job of white lining.

Paul recently invited a gentlemen's coffee morning group to try the game and through his keenness, they too are playing. Without his help over the past 20 years, we would not have survived, and our membership is healthy. Paul now is our Club treasurer, and we are thriving!

Jan & Steve Bennett - Hamptworth CC

Recently retired and looking for an activity they could enjoy together, Steve and Jan joined Hamptworth Croquet Club in 2016, following an Open Day. Serving first as Treasurer, Steve was elected Chairman in 2020 and Jan has been Secretary since 2017.

In order to gain a local profile and increase membership of our rural club, they have walked miles delivering leaflets, left no recruitment opportunities unexplored by canvassing groups, attending fetes and speaking to community leaders, Steve successfully pursued every possible fundraising opportunity and gained CASC status for the Club. Their efforts doubled Club membership and gave us the financial self-sufficiency required at that time.

photoSteve & Jan Bennett

During the time Steve has served as Treasurer and Chairman, there have been several major upheavals which have posed a threat to the Club, most recently when ownership of Hamptworth Golf and Country Club changed last year, and Steve was told the new owner's plan did not include croquet. Steve planned a strategy to reach the owner direct and managed to convince him that croquet could make a positive and unique contribution. These were delicate negotiations requiring determination and vision, as well as a good rapport with the owner and his management team.

Jan has worked hard to set up a website for the Club. She liaises with the Golf and Country Club on membership matters and keeps members informed of social events there, encouraging them to support these to raise our profile within the Clubhouse.

Both have organised starter sessions for new members and are currently in the second year of leading a Duke of Edinburgh award programme for pupils at a local school.

Steve and Jan enjoy the unanimous support of Club members. Without their dedication and resourcefulness Hamptworth Croquet Club would have had an uncertain future. Now we look forward with confidence to the new owner's ambitious plans for croquet at Hamptworth, ably led by Steve and Jan.

Margaret Skeldon - Lymington CC

photoMargaret Skeldon

Lymington Croquet Club is a small, welcoming club which was founded in 1995. It has always encouraged new players to experience croquet. Margaret Skeldon joined in 2006 and proved to be a natural player. In her first season, she was awarded the Spooner Cup by the club as the most improved player. Over the years Margaret has given so much of her time to the club in many ways. Her enthusiasm for the game, cheerful character and coaching skills have encouraged members to improve their games in both Golf and Association. Whenever volunteers are required to support fundraising or the running of beginner/improver training sessions, Margaret is always the first person to come forward. In addition, Margaret has thrown herself selflessly into the administration of the club becoming Secretary in 2007 and then Chairman in 2015 until 2022. Through Margaret's leadership, we persuaded the Town Council to provide us with a new lawn which is now the envy of visitors.

Every member of the club has a kind word for Margaret. The commitment and effort she has given to the club over the years is way beyond expectation and the award of CA Diploma to Margaret could not go to a more deserving person.

Keith Bryant - Dowlish Wake CC

Keith has organised all our league matches and friendlies here at Dowlish Wake Croquet Club for over ten years. This takes an enormous amount of organising and he spends many hours a week pouring over fixtures, matching players to different leagues and arranging with other Fixture Secretaries. He is also a very active league player and captain of one of our own teams but also enters many independent competitions on a personal level.

He deals with the pitfalls that this role brings, such as players dropping out at the last minute, cajoling players to step in, etc. in a very calm and professional way.

photoKeith Bryant

He is also a CA-qualified club coach and has spent a great deal of his time encouraging new members to step onto the "competitive" ladder. Keith is a highly valued member of our club, and I would like to see his dedication recognised.