Northampton Croquet Club has relocated to the Northamptonshire village of Roade and through the generosity of Sport England, our sport's governing body (The Croquet Association / Croquet England), the local parish council and all the supporters of our phase 1 appeal has established two lovely, but maturing lawns at the start of our tenure here. A big thank you to all, without your help we wouldn't have been so successful.
- Croquet is an activity that can be enjoyed by all.
- It appeals to people of all ages , genders, abilities and crosses ethnic divides.
- It promotes gentle physical and mental exercise as well as an increase in well-being encouraged by safe social interaction - it is also a great family experience.
- For those that need a more competitive environment the sport also supports both regional and national competitions that the club participates in as well as friendlies with other clubs!
The plan for our new home consists of 3 phases.
Develop 2 high standard croquet lawns, with the necessary toilet facilities, secure storage, and equipment to maintain them. This was the first fund raising target and was very successful, largely due to the Crowdfunder campaign started at the end of 2021 assisted by the Sport England match funding.
The image below shows the new lawns at a recent open day that was well attended by both local people and those from further afield.
A stretch goal of the original campaign or within 2 years is to provide a modest club house for members and visitors to enjoy when escaping poor weather. This is the main objective of this appeal.
Through the generosity of the original campaign we have established a paved area (this is where the gazebo is sited in the picture above). This paved area will act as a patio to the clubhouse when installed and for now facilitates the sighting of temporary cover when needed.
Within the next 5 years. Develop two more lawns for a truly inspiring club. The space will support another two lawns and we have given ourselves a longer time frame to achieve this as we realize further fund raising beyond the clubhouse aspect will be even more challenging.
- In order to be able to continue making croquet accessible to all, we need to provide a shelter (clubhouse) against the inclement British weather and a place to change into suitable clothing and of course that all important cup of tea after an arduous session.
- We are now formally open for new members and offer introductory sessions to any and all that would like to take part in this activity.
- From the image above you'll see that apart from the trees our only shelter is a gazebo that has to be taken down after play or in windy weather!
- We are also seeking support from Sport England under their 'Places and Spaces' initiative, where we have to demonstrate how we align to the project 'United by Birmingham 2022'
Bring people together
- As mentioned earlier Croquet is an inclusive sport, indeed our members look forward to the social interaction afforded by the club and its location as much as any competitive play.
- We have an outreach program where we invite local groups to take part in the activity. Many such groups value the opportunity to interact in a different way from their own regular meetings.
- Our social media pages are regularly updated with local and wider news regarding our sport, facilities and opportunities.
Improve well being
- Croquet as an activity encourages social interaction as well as broader tactical and strategic thinking and gentle exercise. These aspects appeal to many people with disabilities as they can often take part.
- The club plays a variety of 'fun variants' to the normal game to ensure that the fun element isn't lost as well as increasing the breadth of challenge.
- The club also provides coaching at the most senior level to ensure each person can realize their full potential.
Help the region grow and succeed
- We are the sole croquet club within our county and already we have attracted members from the surrounding areas whose desire to pursue a more active life can be supported by croquet.
- Our success at previous fund raising (predominantly Crowdfunder) has inspired other sports clubs, not just croquet, to investigate further.
- We continue to introduce our activity to wider audiences for truly sustainable growth and have aspirations to interact with young people through the local schools.
Be a catalyst for change
- Many within our sport and beyond have seen how quickly we have adapted to change (loss of our original venue) and achieved such a positive response from all contributing to our success. Within our community we are often consulted on our approach and our experience is well received and valued.
Puts us on a global stage
- Within our own club we have 4 members who have achieved international recognition as players. Indeed 2 ladies are representing England in the Women's World Golf Croquet Championships hosted in the UK in August 2023.
The money raised through this campaign and other related fund raising activities will fund a modest low maintenance clubhouse like the one illustrated.
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- We are currently the sole croquet club in the county of Northamptonshire and our presence in Roade has not only provided the area with the exciting opportunity to take up this sport but also exposed this area of natural beauty to the villagers and those visiting to spend a tranquil afternoon watching or taking part.
- We have had the honour of introducing our sport to many local organisations such as the u3a, WI and other community groups. (The image below was taken after a session with the Towcester WI)
- The village has both primary and secondary schools and we are working on a plan to introduce students to this exciting activity again partially dependent on us providing a shelter.
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There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.
1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!
2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.
3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!
4. Fundraise for us. If you want to run your own fundraiser – maybe a sponsored activity or similar – use the 'contact project' button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!