50 years between hits
By ADAM WRATTEN
CURRUMBIN croquet player John Gibbs had more than 50 years between hits.
Now the talented 68year-old is making up for lost time.
Gibbs, who has been back playing croquet for about two-and-a-half years since his return, is one of the more-fancied players to win this week's Association Croquet tournament at the Coolangatta club, organisers said yesterday.
The ex-pat, who emigrated to Australia in 2002, got off to a good start on the first day of play yesterday winning his opening tie.
"I used to play as a boy when I was 15, when I was on holiday in Wales and friends of my parents (had a croquet area set up)," Gibbs said.
"I'd always wanted to come back .?.?. here I am."
A newspaper advertisement triggered his renewed enthusiasm.
"Sadly, I never took it up because it hadn't really occurred to me," said Gibbs, who followed his two daughters out to Australia from north Yorkshire with his wife Pat, said.
"Now that I'm here I'm really enjoying it.
"Above all it's a social game and I get to play up and down the coast at places like Bribie Is- land and Murwillumbah.
"And it's quite exciting, although it does take some understanding to know what's going on."
This week's competition runs until Thursday, with players from clubs across the Gold Coast and down to Lismore taking part.
There have been about 70 entries.
Meanwhile, in other croquet activity at the club over the Easter period, Bruce Crowther and Robyn Menzies, both from the Coolangatta club, won the ricochet tourament on Saturday and Arthur and Pam Shepherd, from Headland Buderim, won the golf croquet on Sunday.