Three Sports Super Centre members were missing from their Deep Water Exercise classes but they had a good excuse… they were representing Australia at the World Gateball Championships in Japan! Julia Vickers and Jim and Barbara Northcott were part of a team of eight players from the Southport Croquet Club that took part. There were 95 other teams from around the globe vying for the world title. We haven’t heard the results yet but stay tuned in upcoming newsletters and we’ll let you know.
Gateball is a fast-paced and highly strategic Japanese mallet sport similar to croquet, and can be played by anyone regardless of age or gender. A team of five people playing sequentially the odd numbers 1-9 compete against the opposition who play the even numbers 2-10 for the game that lasts 30 minutes. Tactics and skills are necessary as it is like billiards and chess played on grass. Although only an emerging sport in Australia, it is played by 10 million people globally, predominantly in Asia and South America.
Barbara and Jim competed in the World Gateball Championships in 2010 in Shanghai, and along with Julia also competed in Macau in the 2012 Asian Cities Gateball Championship. They have been training hard and travelling to local clubs in Brisbane and Ipswich to gain vital match practice. Supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation, these three team members will return with plenty of valuable experience to share with anyone who wishes to go along to Southport Croquet Club to learn Gateball. They also teach students at local primary schools.