A Short History
From the humble enclave of croquet lane in Rondebosch came the inspiration for a new wave of younger croquet players to join the game. From what at first were unlikely musings between games, from the likes of Barry Wiesner (who has a habit of involving himself in establishing clubs) and Peter Meakin, is now a reality. The University of Cape Town Croquet Club (UCTCC) is now knocking on the door of the South African Croquet community in a big way. Founded by Engineering student, Murray Buchanan, in 2017 the club has only gone from strength to strength. At the heart of the club are the very successful Friday social sessions. The sessions are open to all students and place emphasis on the social aspect of the game – and other incentives known to draw youngsters to events! Through the generosity of the Rondebosch Croquet Club, an agreement was made granting our club use of their lawns. Due to the club’s proximity to the university it has proved remarkably enticing to newcomers, with the occasional walk-in becoming a regular occurrence. Despite having only one rowdy Friday session a week, the club continues to produce quality players who have represented RCC in the Robinson Cup. These strong outings have left some of the game’s more experienced scratching their heads at the skill level of the students who are undaunted in the face of the strong level of play in the Western Cape. Due to approachable spirit in which the sport is presented by the club, the UCTCC has a high success rate of retaining first time players. Players who have backgrounds in other sporting codes take to the sport with electrifying pace and those who are not so athletically inclined are reassured by its relatively low demands of hand eye coordination.
On the Horizon
After an encouraging inaugural season, the enthusiasm that the students took to the game was palpable. As the season progressed and the allowance of sunlight waned with each passing week, you could still find students playing in the pitch dark with the aid of the flashlights on their phones. As most students’ schedules don’t accommodate regular club croquet playing times as it stands, the limited window of playing time coming under threat presents itself to the club as a slight obstacle. However, due to the craze with which the students are taking to the game, investigations have been put in place to secure the installation of floodlights. This investment would allow the demand for extended playing hours from the students to be satisfied as there is an overwhelming willingness to play into all hours of the evening. As well as the acquisition of lights, the club also aims to enter its own team into the 2018 Robinson Cup. Due to the frequent success with which particular members have experienced when representing RCC and the depth of talent that is on offer every Friday, the club would be well equipped to disrupt the hierarchy of the Robinson Cup. After a sparkling first Open Doubles Tournament, the club is moving swiftly onwards to establishing internal rankings and hosting an open singles tournament that would further fan the fire with which games are contested at the club. The doubles tournament which is testament to the culture that is being fostered at the club which aims to protect the social and enjoyable side of the game while still maintaining the competitiveness for the more serious players. The club is looking forward to establishing an official affiliation to the WCCA and to produce a high level of croquet that can match that of the best of the country. As is proven by our handicap smashing chairman, Murray, who has received a first time national ranking of eight after his jaw dropping performance in the latest WCAA tournament – announcing the deafening knock of UCTCC on the door of the South African Croquet scene.
Contact: Murray Buchanan
Tel: +27 72 341-3150