Two Kapiti clubs have played a key role in the hosting of the Association Croquet World Championship.

The championship, which took place last week, involved a lot of work for the Paraparaumu and Waikanae croquet clubs who, along with Kelburn Croquet Club, Wellington Municipal Croquet Club and Plimmerton Croquet Club, hosted 80 highly ranked players of association croquet from 11 countries.

Paraparaumu Croquet Club venue manager June Saunders-Francis likened the event to the Olympics, "for this sport the championship is like the Olympics of croquet".

Co-hosting the event involved "a lot of work but a lot of enjoyment too".


"We get to see the top class players in the world and play an important part in the competition as well."

For June, and the club, a general spring clean of the clubhouse was first on the cards before the championship started, with other activities such as catering and supervising play during the championship.

"All the players have been delighted to come here and were all more than happy to play on Paraparaumu's fields.

"They love Waikanae's fields too."

This certainly was the case as Francie Vagg, the venue manager for Waikanae Croquet Club, said, "One of our lawns, lawn five, has been described by players as the best in the world.

"They say it's the best they've ever played on because the playing surface is very even, the speeds are very even and it is a very fast lawn which they like."

Hosting a world championship means the surfaces have to be up to a very high standard and the council who are in charge of maintaining both lawns have been working with the clubs to get them up to standard.

"The council staff put in a huge amount of effort, they're very interested and proud of their lawns," June said.


"They've got an excellent crew, I started telling them the standards we wanted to aim for for the lawns, and they regarded it as a challenge.

"As they said it's much more interesting that rushing around mowing a footy field."

While the grounds are the most important thing for the players, both clubs have had to spruce up their clubhouses.

"We've painted everything that doesn't move," laughs Francie.

Volunteers are there all day starting at 7.30am to set up the lawns, catering, liaising with the other venues, post scores online and a host of other tasks to make the championship successful.

All club members have been involved in one way or another with both June and Francie emphasising that everyone has been enjoying being part of an international event which features players from all over the world.