Croquet players missing the courts

By Andrew Johnston

The photo was meant as a joke but had serious benefits.

An image of Rich River croquet player Russ Smyth playing with a miniature set began circulating within the Goulburn Valley croquet community not long after it was posted.

Many laughs and comments were shared about the image, as players of the sport enjoyed spending time together, even if it was only online.

Di Smyth said it had become a common practice for local players since the sport was forced to shut down in response to COVID-19.

“People have started communicating a lot online,” she said.

“There are a lot of emails and Facebook messages being sent around trying to make each other laugh. It's good to see people working together to keep spirits high with everything that is going on.”

Russ agreed.

“It's hard for people not to have that contact with each other every week,” he said.

“It was great for people to have not only the exercise that came with playing, but the social connection that came with being at the club was very important. We've found ways to keep everyone together and enjoying each other's company while we wait to get back, so hopefully spirits are high when we eventually do.”

With multiple tournaments and the club's AGM and presentation night all on hold, Russ said they had no choice but to sit tight until they can head back on to the courts.

“We'd obviously all love to be playing, but it's the right thing to stay away,” he said.

“It's pretty tough, but that's the situation we are all currently in across the region. We are just finding ways to get through, and will get back out there when it's safe to do so.”