Croquet season prepares to start at Crathes Castle

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Croquet has been played informally by a group of hardy souls on the 300 year lawn at Crathes Castle for many Years.

They gave birth to Crathes Croquet Club (CCC) which was then expanded to become Aberdeen and Crathes Croquet Club (ACCC) in 2013 making it probably the most officially recognised Northern Croquet Clubs in the world.

Brian Clark, founder member of CCC, and Club representative on the Scottish Croquet Association, said :“It makes me angry when people don’t think that croquet is a serious sport and treat it as a genteel pastime to play on a summer day on the back lawn accompanied by Pimms and cucumber sandwiches.

“It is a highly skilful game played at the national and international level and it is our ambition to get a player into the Scottish National team and challenge the dominance of croquet in the Central Belt of Scotland.

“Indeed last year the North, comprising our Club players beat the East and West of Scotland which shows we really are improving”

As the new season is about to start the Club are keen to encourage people on Deeside to take up a sport which is a rewarding physical activity, stimulates the mind, cheap to play and on the doorstep?

As well as playing at Crathes Castle the Club also has exclusive use of a bowling green at the Albury Outdoor Sports Centre, Ferryhill, Aberdeen.

Players are of all ages, men and women play on equal terms and a handicap system allows beginners to play experts and learn and improve at the same time.

Some members play “social croquet” whilst others enter national Scottish events some of which Club members are starting to win!

Coaching is provided for members at Crathes and Albury.

ACCC will be holding introductory “Have a Go days” from 11.00am to 4.00pm at Crathes Castle on Saturday, April 30, and May 7 and at the Albury Sports Centre on Sunday 1st and 8th of May.

Whether you are an absolute beginner, have played before or might “just be interested or curious do drop in and “Have a Go” and think about joining our lively and friendly Club.

All equipment is provided but please wear flat soled shoes such as trainers.

Just turn up but if you are interested and the “Have a Go” dates are not suitable please contact one of the following to discuss possibilities : Robert Bell on 01224 732067 (07538 799514)butterywells@aol.com) or Brian Clark on 01224 867159 (07712 579528) (briandrummondclark@btinternet.com).

Brian concluded:“There can be few things more pleasurable in life than playing on the magnificent lawn at Crathes Castle whether in the afternoon with the sun shining and having to explain to bewildered Japanese tourists what it is all about or of an evening when you have the grounds of the Castle to yourself.

“Do come to an Open Day so we can convince you!”

You can find details of the Club, locations and range of sporting activities and social events on the Club web site aberdeenandcrathescroquetclub.org.uk.

More information is also available on the club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/aberdeenandcrathescroquet.