The Stratford croquet club has welcomed 11 new members this year, says club member Marie Moir, bringing the total to 27.

"I think people find the game is enjoyable once they give it a try. I always think it is like a cross between chess and marbles - you can enjoy the mental challenge of it and be quite competitive, but you don't have to. You can just play for pleasure if you prefer."

Marie can't say she isn't competitive after she and fellow club member Janet Connell won a tournament last month.

"It was held at the Stratford club and featured teams from here as well as Park, Hāwera and Inglewood. It's an annual tournament made possible thanks to our great sponsors."


As well as main sponsor Taranaki Veterinary Services, local businesses including Cottage Lane, Stratford Pharmacy and Mitre10 also sponsored the event.

Marie says she thinks with more people over the age of 65 living in Stratford now, the croquet club might increase its membership even more.

"It is a great sport for all ages, we have a lovely clubroom here and are all friendly, so it gives people the chance to come along, learn a sport and meet new people."

With the oldest club member turning 90 this year, Marie says the sport really doesn't have an age limit on it.

"In fact it is quite good as a rehabilitative activity as it is gentle and you can go at your own pace."

The club has games on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10am and twilight sessions on Mondays and Thursdays from 5.30pm