SPOT ON: Ann Williams of the Coutts Crossing Croquet Club lines up a shot.
SPOT ON: Ann Williams of the Coutts Crossing Croquet Club lines up a shot. Tim Jarrett

Convince grandma to play croquet - win a cash prize

LEVERAGING grandchildrens' power over their grand parents, a local club has received funding for a unique event.

Australia Post has awarded the Coutts Crossing Croquet Club $2,400 for a project which aims to create opportunities for intergenerational support through a spirited weekly croquet tournament.

CCCC secretary Peter Martin said the 2019 Community Grants program funds would enable the club to recruit more players from the area through a weekly competition pairing teenagers up with seniors.

While the teenagers and seniors would compete as a team, the prize money each week would be awarded solely to the teenager.

"We are saying to teenagers 'how would you like to earn $80 pocket money by bringing along a senior',” he said.

"In most sports seniors go to watch teenagers play, it is the only sport which is suitable for anybody from about 10 to 90 and they can all play on equal terms.”

Mr Martin said the initiative would benefit the community greatly as it could help remedy social isolation faced by some seniors and help to improve fitness.

The grant represents another win for the club which has grown its membership to over 60 members and has inspired satellite clubs around the Clarence Valley.

"There are over 220 people in the Clarence Valley who now play croquet on a regular basis, compared with just a handful four years ago,” he said.

"It has been a real growth sport in this area.”

The next move for the club was to move into the corporate events space, offering businesses the opportunity to utilise the space and equipment for team building excercises and social gatherings.

Australia Post's 2019 Community Grants program has awarded almost $500,000 to 75 not-for-profit community organisations across Australia for the delivery of grassroots community projects, with the majority of recipients in rural and regional areas.

Australia Post Head of Community, Nicky Tracey said the grants were aimed at strengthening Australian communities by assisting groups who are best positioned to address local needs.

"The Australia Post Community Grants program has given us the opportunity to fund projects that connect individuals and their local communities,” she said.

"Each recipient organisation embodies the aim of the program which is to provide targeted support for what matters most to local communities.

"We are proud to provide funding to activities that help people connect, reduce barriers to participate in community life, or develop skills and leadership capability to strengthen community networks.”

The new competition is due to start early next year and the Coutts Crossing Croquet Club meets for social games on Thursdays and Saturdays from 8.30 am.