$2.3 million croquet centre now open in Lake Macquarie

A new croquet centre has been officially opened, following a $2.3 million spend on its construction.

The facility, based at Bill Bower Oval in Glendale is now the largest in NSW, boasting six courts, lighting and amenities.

It’s already booked to host the Australian Gateball Championships in 2025 and is built to national competition standards to host further large-scale events down the track.

But, before that clubs from right across the state will descend on the venue early next month for a three day tournament.

Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Assets Management Rob Morris says the need for a croquet facility was identified in 2021 in Council’s Development Contributions Plan for the Glendale Contributions Catchment.

“Throughout this project, we’ve worked very closely with Toronto Croquet Club to ensure we’re delivering a quality venue that meets the needs of their members and the sport’s wider community,” Mr Morris said.

Toronto Croquet Club President Marion Davies said the club, which hosts more than 70 members and began in 1992, is hoped to expand further with the new centre.

“We have a lot of talent in the Hunter so we’re very lucky in that respect.

“This facility means that we will be able to host games year-round and on weekends, so we hope to attract younger players. We’d like to start a junior group.”

“It’s very much a thinking sport, very tactical so it’s great for physical, mental and social health – we’re a very social group,” Ms Davies said.

The club will host a free open day on April 21 to introduce new players of all ages to the sport and the Glendale centre. It also plans to visit local schools in coming months to encourage younger participation.