THE SUTHERLAND SHIRE DISTRICT
Sutherland Croquet Club is some 30 kilometres south of Sydney Harbour, scene of the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The Sutherland Shire is a collection of leafy suburbs bordered by three rivers, the Georges, Woronora and Port Hacking, and is locally boasted to be “God’s Own Country” because of its natural beauty. Within a few minutes from the croquet club one can enter the Royal National Park or enjoy the rivers and popular beaches.
The Sutherland Shire is regarded as the birthplace of modern Australia, after British explorer James Cook landed on the Kurnell Peninsular in 1770. This ultimately led to the establishment of a penal colony.
Evidence of aboriginal settlement by clans of the Dharawal people preceded Cook’s discovery by more than 8,000 years.
It was not until around the 1850s that the Sutherland district experienced any real european settlement when industries such as oyster farming, timber cutting and cattle grazing emerged. After the Second World War the district encountered a population explosion. Modest dwellings of that era have rapidly been replaced by more affluent homes and the creation of new suburbs.
The suburb of Sutherland is now the administrative centre of the Sutherland Shire housing the council chambers, the court house and an entertainment centre.
Sutherland Croquet Club is adjacent to Waratah Park which includes swimming pools, football, cricket and athletics fields. Sport is very popular within ‘the Shire’ which has a youthful demographic. The croquet club has been in existence since 1981 and has use of three lawns which were originally used as bowling greens.
The club colours are light and dark blue similar to those associated with the district and used by several sporting codes.
CROQUET AROUND THE WORLD
Believed to have originated in Ireland, croquet is played in a number of countries although mainly in Great Britain, the United States of America, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Egypt is prominent on the world stage. To a lesser extent croquet has a following in countries such as Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic to name a few.
Oxford Croquet, an online site providing extensive information about croquet includes an interesting map as to where croquet is played around the world: