Suffolk YMCA makes croquet history

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2005

At the Suffolk YMCA, children have long since been able to shoot baskets, take a dip in the pools, or smack some balls around the racquetball courts.

In early November, they might have something new to enjoy.

About six weeks ago, Conrad Haas, the president of the Virginia/West Virginia district of the United States Croquet Association (USCA), approached YMCA executive director Rick Matthews about making the local facility the first in the country to incorporate such a youth sports program in coordination with the USCA.

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&uot;(District Vice President) Ed Lee and I had been talking about it for the past few years,&uot; Haas said. &uot;The USCA wanted to get something started with the kids, and we thought it would be nice to put Suffolk on the map.&uot;

Haas met with Matthews and school-age site director Mario Faulk and gave them a presentation on the rules and benefits of croquet.

&uot;The big thing with it was that none of our children have really had a chance to learn about croquet,&uot; Matthews said.

As America celebrated National Croquet Day Sept. 24, the USCA presented the Suffolk YMCA with a certificate of appreciation for coordinating the program, and plans to present them two official USCA sets to play, made by a Franklin company.

&uot;This is another option in our back-to-school program, and something for our staff to learn as well,&uot; Matthews said. &uot;By early November, we should be up and running on a weekly basis.&uot;