Croquet Helping Communities in Uganda

Croquet in the bush with locally made mallets and balls

Croquet in the bush with locally made mallets and balls

Few people in the Teme Valley around Broadwas, Cotheridge and Knightwick probably realise that they are helping to encourage the development of croquet in remote parts of Uganda.

A trchnique we would all recogniseA technique we would all recognise

Well,  Doug Whittaker told us at a recent committee meeting that the local churches, St Mary Magdalene, Broadwas, where  Jennifer Whittaker is Priest, and  St Peter’s, Martley, St Lawrence, Wichenford and St Leonard’s, Cotheridge, are supporting David and Heather Sharland, a missionary couple from Devon, in their work in the area.

Primarily they work with local people, encouraging efficient farming, horticulture and family planning but they are also playing croquet with the locals.

Doug Whittaker says;

“We (the churches) have been supporting David and Heather for the last ten years or so and they occasionally visit us when they are on holiday from Uganda.


David and Heather Sharland

It seems they started up the croquet quite independently of us and it was quite by chance I mentioned that Jennifer and I played croquet at a local club and David said that they played with a home made kit in Arua, Uganda.  For them it is just “garden croquet”  but the point is that  in rural Africa, if you want to play it is very much do it yourself.

At a time when a lot of the news coming out of Africa is about conflict,  David and Heather Sharland are really good at getting the Northern Ugandan  communities working and playing together and it seems croquet has a part to play in that.”

David made the sets of mallets and balls with a local carpenter named Amute.  “It’s a fiddly business, but the finished balls do fine! The hoops are from a re enforcing bar for building”.

So even if you lives in rural Uganda ( Arua ) and have the will, you can play croquet.