Croquet Victoria
Advancing Croquet in Victoria

Growing Croquet

Growing Croquet in Victoria

Would your club like to grow? Are you interested in ideas from other clubs?

****

Your publicity officer (or secretary) may be interested in ideas from our inaugural publicity officers' workshop, held on 22 October.

Keynote speaker was Greg Bryant, Croquet Development Officer for Croquet New Zealand, who spoke about his recent work supporting clubs and helping to develop young players.

We also discussed

  • using social media
  • recruiting younger players
  • getting our recent videos out to allied health workers
  • future plans for developing croquet in Victoria

and

Many thanks to everyone who came along.

****

Over the past few years, Croquet Victoria has been developing a resource kit for clubs and regions, called "Growing Croquet". It is based on experiences at clubs around Victoria and beyond.

Below is a summary of the material.

The first section provides information for groups who are trying to start a new club. This includes several separate documents.

The later sections are for existing clubs. You can download the individual sections (click the heading) or download everything as a single pdf.

If you have questions or suggestions to add please get in touch by emailing marketing@croquetvic.asn.au.

Resources for clubs and regions 

 

Resource

 

Overview

Starting a new club
New: April 2017

Second edition Croquet Facility Guide, also available in a Full Colour Version. [May 2019]

Getting a croquet club started:

 

This section includes material to help local authorities and interested players who are considering developing a new club. 

The Croquet Facility Guide is primarily for local government officers considering the development of local sporting facilities.
It describes what is needed to establish or develop a croquet club.

The three brief documents listed on the left provide advice for groups who would like to start a croquet club in their neighbourhood.

Why does your club need to grow?


Working bee at Brunswick - painting the baulks (there were 70 of them at that time).

  • New members strengthen and revitalise the club.
  • New members share the load and keep your club viable.

 

Strategic planning
Updated: 8 June 2018


Western Metro clubs discussing recruitment plans, February 2018

Networking: raising your club's profile in the community
New: 13 Mar 2017

  • Who are the key contacts in your community? Think schools, health, learning centres, University of the Third Age, social clubs, Facebook community groups.
  • Consider giving them information about croquet or inviting them to a social event. Check out this marketing flyer for allied health workers.

Club promotion
Updated 6 July 2018

Publicity Officer kit

Updated list of press contacts
As at 6 August 2018


Wangaratta CC sausage sizzle

NEDCA at the Wodonga Show (from Facebook)

To promote your club, you need to be positive, upbeat, and grasp every opportunity you can to keep up your profile in the community.

  • Appoint a publicity officer. Someone who will
    • get to know the local media - people, deadlines, preferences
    • maintain contact with key people
    • communicate effectively and systematically
  • Think about functions where you can involve the community in croquet activities: eg fundraising for a good cause, season opening, youth program.
  • Several clubs have provided example publicity flyers. Download a list with live links.
  • Generic hard copy promotional leaflets, posters and bookmarks are also available for clubs running recruitment campaigns. Email Sandra at administration@croquetvic.asn.au and she can mail them to you.
  • Use your club website! Provide info on your club opening hours and how to arrange to play at your club. Check that it's easy to contact someone via the phone number or email you provide.
  • Start a club Facebook page. Great for sharing photographs of club activities (you'll need to ask people if they're happy to be photographed). If you search Facebook for #croquet you'll find lots of examples. Check out the hints in Using Social Media
  • Share croquet videos.
    Croquet Victoria has just published two commissioned videos.
    Croquet: a hit for health is directed at allied health practitioners. It's been developed with input from the Australian Physiotherapy Association and it makes the case for #croquet as a sport to be considered by allied health practitioners. Pass the link on to practitioners in your area, and invite them to visit your club! The full link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltTNS_zp1wo.
    Croquet: an ageless game is quite similar - same music, similar text and background images - but it's directed at the general public, people who might be thinking of taking up a new sport. You could link to it from your club web page or club Facebook page, or show it on a laptop when you attend public events. The full link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2O4uvEOXrk.
    Jamie Gumbrell's competition-winning video "Croquet: for the Young at Heart" is available on Youtube at https://youtu.be/x6WxAkLr1Qk .
    Twin Cities CC has also made a Youtube video about croquet and another one about the croquet presence at the Wodonga Show.
    You might like to include links to these videos from your webpage, or make your own video?

Downloadable resources (links on the left) also include:

  • A new kit for publicity officers
  • An annotated press release
  • Writing a press release [tips from the Public Relations Institute]: 
    • Put on a journalist's hat.
    • Lose the superlatives.
    • Include some salient quotes
    • Keep it short.
    • Put your contact information in a prominent place.
  • An updated list of press contacts, now sorted by region - as at 6 August 2018. Please advise us of any changes to this list (email marketing@croquetvic.asn.au)

Promotional events

Owen Edwards (Croquet Vic Life Member) running the first hoop of the season at VCC in 2018. 

  • Focus and plan your promotion:
    • Decide who you need to involve.
    • Get to know your local media.
    • Invite your local newspaper to do an article about the event.
    • Local radio may provide free slots.

 

Social days


Korumburra Christmas Lunch (from Facebook). 

  • For clubs or regions
    • Schedule days (monthly / bi monthly?) where members celebrate and play together.
    • Bring players together in hi/low games or challenges.
    • Share a BBQ, afternoon tea or drinks and nibbles.
  • Community events
    • Run croquet games accessible to all, such as Aussie Croquet, Helter Skelter, Eggs in a Basket, Croquet Bobs, Gateball Tunnel, Croquet Tunnel, Skittles, Tennis, Best of 13, Speed Croquet, Bulls Eye (details included)

 

Use courses for recruitment


Drysdale Seniors Festival (from Facebook).

Croquet is an exciting, complex, challenging (and frustrating) game

Running courses for prospective members introduces them to more aspects of the game than come and try sessions and gets them more involved.

Courses also help develop essential croquet skills for prospective, new and current members.

You can download outlines of the courses run by several clubs, some focusing on AC or Aussie, others with a GC focus.

The rules of Aussie Croquet are available in the Social Days section of this resource.

Qualified coaches are listed by region and club on the VCA website, see https://croquetvic.asn.au/coach.php.

Share the GC and AC codes


Belmont players being introduced to ricochet. (From Facebook.)

  • In some clubs and regions Golf Croquet and Association Croquet players rarely meet. Many recent members have joined as GC players and have had little opportunity to learn AC. Around the world this has become an issue which croquet clubs are starting to tackle.
  • Try holding a social day bringing the codes together. You could play an AC doubles game pairing an AC player with a GC player, where the AC player takes the two-ball croquet shots.
  • Your region could hold ricochet events or tournaments. 
  • Regional coaching sessions in AC could specifically target GC players (a couple of regions are having success with this).
  • Start a competition involving GC and AC play as at the Meadows Croquet Club in Scotland.

Develop a youth program


Junior players at Casterton (from Facebook).

Many established players first played croquet as children.

If your club would like to establish a youth program, Casterton CC has some pointers:

  • Leadership and commitment are important.
  • Get your club's support. Roster in a group to help.
  • Everyone involved needs a Working with Children Certificate (free for volunteers).
  • Plan your advertising and links with Council and schools.
  • Rope in your local newspaper.
  • Get sponsorship so you can offer prizes.
  • Involve outside coaches to inspire the students.

Club visitors and insurance
Updated: 7 Mar 2016

The VCA arranges public liability insurance for clubs via the Australian Croquet Association, paid for in association with the VCA affiliation fee.

  • Questions often arise about the scope of this when events for non-members are planned.
  • Essentially, all visitors are covered no matter how often they come, whether or not they pay, and whether or not you record their names.

This advice applies to public liability insurance taken out via the ACA. The VCA is not in a position to advise on public liability insurance policies taken out via other organisations.

Growing our club: Queenscliff's experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queenscliff and Sorrento players at a Queenscliff social day. (From Facebook.)

In the last two years the number of members at Queenscliff CC has increased from mid twenties to low forties. Their strategies have included:

  • being more visible to passers by.
  • encouraging newcomers and beginners with an introductory course, a welcome pack, and a club mentor.
  • being a very friendly club.

Growing our club: Plimmerton's experience


Coaching for beginners at Plimmerton. (From Facebook.)

In the last ten years the number of members at Plimmerton CC (NZ) has doubled, from mid-50s to mid-90s. Recruitment is now limited by court capacity (they have 4 A courts). Their strategies have included:

  • respect for GC and AC.
  • support and respect for member needs - competitive and social.
  • positive two-way communication.
  • enabling leadership.
  • encouragement for enthusiasm and ideas of new members.
  • coaching for new and established members.
  • sustained efforts to achieve external publicity.

Further information

 Queries or suggestions? Email marketing@croquetvic.asn.au.

 Publicity Officer Online Kit

 VCA Publicity Workshop (powerpoint)

 Publicity Workshop Notes (pdf)