Next, The World! Broadwas Enters European Croquet

The Broadwas GC European squad. From left, Billy Nicholson, Captain Stuart Smith, Ian Dampney, Jon Carrington and Billy Cooke

Not content with excelling in regional and national Golf Croquet competitions, Broadwas Croquet Club is now on a quest to conquer Europe!

The club has recently been chosen to be one of a handful of teams from England who will be participating in the World Croquet Federation’s 2024 European GC Club League.

A five-man squad led by team captain Stuart Smith, will commence their campaign at Telč in Czechia (the former Czech republic) in June.

The squad, which includes Ian Dampney, Billy Nicholson, Jon Carrington and Billy Cooke, will play their weekend heat on the 22nd and 23rd  of June.  

Other heats are being held across Europe between April and July and will be played in Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Latvia and Germany.  Ealing Croquet Club will be the host for the English heat, which will be held in May.

In all, 28 teams will compete for a place at the grand final, to be held in Madrid in October. In the tournament’s inaugural year in 2023, Dulwich Croquet Club were crowned champions. Dulwich begin their 2024 campaign in Hamburg in July.  Other English teams in the competition include Sussex County Croquet Club, Bromley Croquet Club, Reigate Croquet Club and Roehampton Croquet Club.

The Broadwas squad will be hosted by Croquet Club Dynamo Telč and our players are currently planning the trip to the picturesque town.  The town centre of Telč is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Telč Image © Jiří Komárek,, CC BY-SA 4.0. (

Perhaps one of the more prepared members of the Broadwas squad is Jon Carrington. Not for him, are worries of transport arrangements for his mallet. Optimistically and wisely thinking ahead, Jon purchased a ‘collapsible’ mallet in only his second season at the club – long before Broadwas even thought of competing in Europe – which makes it ideal for travel and will fit snugly inside his suitcase. He showed fellow squad members his mallet during the team’s first meeting to discuss the forthcoming tournament. I was put in mind of Edward Fox’s collapsible rifle in the ‘The Day Of The Jackal.’ I picture Jon preparing for Czechia, alone in a forest, smashing melons to ensure he has his aim perfected. I’m not rambling by the way – see the film!

The general feeling from members of the squad is that that they are really excited at the prospect of European croquet and  are not daunted in the least by the prospect of competing in their first competitive game abroad.

Billy Nicholson told me “With regard to your question about feeling daunted – you’ve probably got the sense that we’re feeling we’ve won already!”

Paul Felton