About the Club
The Cambridge University Association Croquet Club is responsible for the health and growth of croquet at Cambridge. The club is founded upon a long and fruitful relationship between the sport and the University: its Life President, John Solomon, is arguably the greatest croquet player the game has ever produced.
CUACC places great emphasis on encouraging new players to take up the game: the club recognizes that many students have not had the opportunity to play croquet before arriving at the University. The unique history and tradition of Cambridge seem particularly to suit a sport that is often associated with the refined and genteel, the cultured and courteous. Many colleges keep a croquet set which can be used during Easter term, and it is fair to say that playing the game in the distinctively beautiful surroundings of the University can be a special experience.
Along with tradition and history perhaps comes a reputation for stuffiness and conservatism. This is an image CUACC is keen to dispel. The club aims to make the game available to the widest possible audience. Not only does CUACC organise the Cuppers Tournament for inter-collegiate play on an annual basis, but it also provides a number of introductory sessions throughout Easter term. These sessions are conducted in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, and are intended to accommodate those with little or no previous experience of croquet.
For the more serious player, CUACC plays a set of external fixtures with other croquet clubs, as well as holding regular training sessions run by experienced coaches. The term culminates in the annual Varsity Match against Oxford, played at the Hurlingham Club in London.
Though built upon a rich history, CUACC is acutely aware of the need for continued growth and development. The club is keen to establish links with former members, in order to share experiences and memories of croquet in Cambridge at different times. One long-term aim is to secure the club’s own regular playing space; though more than adequate for a casual game, the college lawns do not quite serve the needs of competition play. At the time of writing, it seems croquet and CUACC with it are experiencing something of a Renaissance in Cambridge: with due care, there is every reason to hope that this resurgence may last long into the future.