The SCF committee co-opts three new members

The SCF committee are pleased to announce the co-options of three new members, following a call for volunteers. This action follows the sad death of AC Leagues Manager Martin Brandt and David Brown’s wish to relinquish the post of Treasurer as soon as a replacement could be found. David Warhurst (High Wycombe) takes on the AC Leagues Manager with immediate effect. John Beckerleg (Winslow) becomes Treasurer. Brian Jamieson (Caversham), who volunteered for the Treasurer’s post, is co-opted as an extra committee member. All co-opted member will serve to the next AGM.

SCF Chairman, Chris Roberts, thanks all three for stepping forward to serve on the committee.

The SCF hosts the first of two ‘Croquet Matters’ workshops for member clubs

The SCF’s Development Officer Barry Dench introduced the CA backed ‘Croquet Matters’ computer based Clubs improvement tool today. Six of the SCF’s northern based clubs – Caversham, Eynsham, Harwell, High Wycombe, Phyllis Court and Wingrave, met at Phyllis Court this morning and all present were impressed with what the program had to offer – all will be recommending it be utilised at their clubs.

In the afternoon, SCF six committee members re-convened to apply ‘Croquet Matters’ to the Federation and this provided an interesting insight to many aspects of our offering to our member clubs. Areas of activity were given an assessment score and targets were set for 12 months hence. Barry Dench will be writing an overview of the process, results and targets.

The second ‘Croquet Matters’ workshop (for our southern based clubs) will be held at Winchester CC on 6 February, again lead by Barry Dench.

Death of Martin Brandt.

Martin Brandt
1949 – 2018

Martin Brandt a former SCF Chairman, long time SCF AC Leagues manager and Chairman of Basingstoke CC has, sadly, died.

Martin Brandt

There is a thriving Croquet Club in Basingstoke, largely due to the efforts of one individual, Martin Brandt.Having learned garden croquet at an early age, Martin – like many others – was seized by the bug and continued playing for as long as he possibly could.He died on 15 November 2018 as a result of illness that had plagued him for much of his adult life. He confounded the medical prognoses but, eventually, things caught up with him.

Martin was a founder member of Basingstoke Croquet Club in 1974, was never off the Committee; he was Chairman at the time of his death and had been for over 20 years.He was also AC Leagues co-ordinator of the Southern Croquet Federation and had been its Chairman for many years.Martin’s personal life was clouded in sadness, having lost his first wife, Belinda, in tragic circumstances. He remarried Iryna  – and taught her to play croquet! He was noted for taking croquet kit to work (for SSE) and setting up on a patch of grass at the office for some lunchtime practice.One or two current members of the Club joined as a result! In spite of his illness and a move to the Abingdon area, he was able to see in the move of Basingstoke Croquet Club to new facilities in 2018 and he has left the Club in good form for the future.
Ian Harrison

Adams wins Wessex Shield

Peter Adams

Not an SCF (or CA) tournament, but one played in our area (Wichester and Littleton to be exact) and organised by Ian Harrison. Peter Adams of Caversham won.

Hamptworth pair are SCF handicap ‘Champions of Champions’

Tim O’Donnell
Steve Bennett

Hamptworth players Tim O’Donnell (left) and Steve Bennett (right) respectively won the SCF’s AC and GC handicap ‘Champion of Champions’ tournaments this weekend and congratulations to them both. The tournaments pit the previous season’s handicap champions of member clubs against each other, this time hosted by Hamptworth CC. SCF Tournaments Officer Richard Jenkins reports that there was good support for the GC tournament on Saturday when 12 players locked horns in two blocks of six which each provided a finalist. The host’s Steve Bennett defeated Littleton’s Jerry Wilde 7-3 in that final. On a cold Sunday the SCF’s Rep to the CA Frances Colman battled being under the weather to stoically play in and manage the AC tournament which was a straight knock-out between eight players. Hamptworth’s rapid improver Tim O’Donnell made few mistakes, and in the final particularly, where he saw off Noel Harris of Eynsham.

Former long-standing SCF Treasurer awarded a CA Diploma for ‘Services to Croquet’

Rita Nunn

The Southern Croquet Federation wished to mark the second retirement of their long-standing Treasurer Rita Nunn, by this nomination for a Croquet Association Diploma for Service to Croquet. The CA made the award at their AGM on 12 October 2017, when Rita was unfortunately unable to attend. It had always been the SCF’s intention to re-award the Diploma at our own AGM today and it was nice to do that at Rita’s home club Winchester.

Citation: Rita has served on the Southern Croquet Federation committee for over ten years as Treasurer, a task which is far from straightforward given the infrequency of meetings and the different ways member clubs handle their finances. The Federation is particularly indebted to Rita, who having first retired before the start of the 2016 season for more family time, answered a distress call to return, when her replacement as treasurer sadly passed away within months of taking office. Rita didn’t have a moment’s hesitation in helping the Federation out in its hour of need by taking on the Treasurer role again for the remainder of that year.
Rita has also been an equally vital part of her own club, Winchester. Not only has she over the years served on the committee as Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, but has also devoted much time to coaching beginners and managing tournaments at Club and Federation level.
For this length of service Rita, the Southern Croquet Federation is most grateful, and the awarding of this Croquet Association Diploma is most richly deserved.

SCF Club players win two of the three National ‘Most Improved Player’ Awards

Paul Gunn (Wingrave)
Most Improved GC Player

Andy Myers (Aldermaston)
Most Improved AC Male Player

Congratulations to Paul Gunn and Andy Myers collected theri awards at he AGM of the Croquet Association today. Their citations read as follows:

Paul Gunn

Paul had a 75% win percentage in 2016. He won the first B-Level qualifier tournament of 2016, was second and third at two others, and then won the National B-Level Series Final in October. Toward the end of the season, he entered the unrestricted Sussex Open (an A-Level Series tournament) and won it. His grade and world rankings were:
2015 – end of season grade 1705 (World 811, UK 266) – 27 games
2016 – end of season grade 2091* (World 285, UK 58) – 77 games

Andy Myers

Andy had an impressive year in 2016 decreasing in handicap from -0.5 to -1.5 (index 2153 to 2405). He won 60.8% of his games and managed 5 triple peels. Andy’s world ranking improved from 153 to 64, taking part in two championships and the Spencer Ell, which he won.