Take off to Roade - Phase 2: Clubhouse Project

by Northampton Croquet Club in Northampton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

We did it
On 10th November 2023 we successfully raised £20,005 ( + est. £1717.75 Gift Aid ) with 119 supporters in 66 days

Northampton Croquet Club is raising money for a simple clubhouse so that visitors and members can escape the worst of the weather.

by Northampton Croquet Club in Northampton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Start the preparation for phase 3 of the project extending the club's capability to 4 croquet lawns.


Who are we?

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.

About Croquet: 

  • 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!

Our development plans.

The plan for our new home consists of 3 phases.

Phase 1:

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.1691432222_open1.jpeg

Phase 2:  

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.

Phase 3: 

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.

Why are we crowdfunding?

  • 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'

How our project will address the aims of the 'United by Birmingham 2022' community programme. 

( www.birmingham2022.com/united )

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.

How we’ll spend the money raised

The money raised through this campaign and other related fund raising activities will fund a modest low maintenance clubhouse like the one illustrated.

[1691431979_club_house_ambition.jpgupload an image here]

Community impact

  • 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.

1691433771_towcester_wi.jpg[upload an image here]

How you can play your part

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!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£2 or more

Show your Support

If you simply want to show your support, maybe because you've enjoyed one of our sessions or visited with your friends or have played with us competitively then we'd be pleased to acknowledge your donation with our thanks.

£10 or more

Introductory Croquet Session

An invitation to a one-to-one or small group croquet taster session at our home . The session lasts for approx. 2 hours, and everything is provided; so no extra costs for kit hire, just wear some flat soled shoes or trainers.

£20 or more

5 of 40 claimed

Supporters Lawn Square

This level of donation allows you to have your name or that of a loved one on a lawn square (40 Squares per lawn) that will be displayed both on our web site and when we establish a club house, we'll frame an image of the squares and display it in our clubhouse. So, your contribution will be there for all to see.

£25 or more

0 of 8 claimed

Guided Tour of Stoke Bruerne

The Victorians with their engineering skills built many great modes of transport like the Grand Union canal, a major water artery linking London with Birmingham. Stoke Bruerne is a Northamptonshire hub for canal enthusiasts, boaters, and tourists alike. Step back in time with a tour of this historic canal and its associated locks, museum, and of course local pubs, presented by a local lock keeper. Dates to be arranged with donators.

£50 or more

4 of 8 claimed

Masterclass Coaching Session

Receive two, 2-hour coaching sessions from the Croquet Association's coach of the year 2021. Either code/type of croquet can be accommodated with this exceptional coach, whose services demand much higher payment.

£75 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Letterpress Experience

Spend a day learning the craft of hand typesetting and letterpress printing. Bring your favourite poem, saying or song lyrics and take away your own unique hand printed version. The day starts with a short introduction to letterpress printing. Followed by the basics of accurate hand-setting lead type, locking up in a printing ‘chase’, ink mixing and preparing to print. All materials and light lunch and refreshments are included. (Typically, £100)

£75 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Group Session on the Lawns

This is for a group of up to 16 people to join us on the lawn for a croquet experience. You'll all receive tuition and advice as you go. All you need is a flat pair of shoes and your competitive spirit! Such an experience would normally be £120+!

£90 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Reg Bamford Signed Letterpress Poster (Unframed)

This is a unique opportunity to own a letterpress poster featuring a quote from Reg Bamford a key player in the sport of Croquet. The letterpress posters have been designed and printed by graphic designer and croquet player James Skelton at Milvus Press using wood and lead type. In this limited first run copies have been signed by Reg himself. Size 34 x 50cm (image size: 23 x 38cm). Printed on 120gsm Zerkall mould-made paper. Note Unframed.

£8 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Voucher for Beckworth Emporium

This donation secures a £10 voucher to spend at the locally renowned Beckworth Emporium, Northampton (https://www.beckworthemporium.co.uk/). Especially useful for that special present or save it to set against a luxury cream tea.

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Nice bottle of Champagne

This reward is for a nice bottle of champagne. G.H. Mumm - Brut Cordon Rouge kindly donated by a friend of the club, Mr Alan Eagle. R.R.P of this fine champagne is £35. Please only pledge against this reward if you live in Northampton as delivery charges may negate the value of your donation.

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