ABC Open is an exciting initiative which provides a focal point for Australian regional communities who want to get involved in sharing their experiences through the ABC via websites, radio and TV.
… and they chose me as a subject.
During the school holidays Sonya Gee had 3 student under her watchful, artistic eye to teach how to put a documentary together. Tristan very ablied assisted with the filming.
Take a look at the fantastic job they have done
Jim Nicholls. Croquet Champion. Wagga Wagga. from ABC Open Riverina on Vimeo.
Many thanks to
Up and coming producers – Sachitha Bandara, Liam Campbell, Jade Miller;
Camera extraordinaire – Tristan Strong;
ABC Open Producer – Sonya Gee
Record rainfall throughout the Riverina and Southern Tablelands of NSW caused the local dams (Burrinjuck and Blowering) to reach capacity within 2 days. Having been about 80% capacity, after 150m to 250mm of rain in the catchment area the dams were overflowing at un-precendented rates.
On Saturday 5 March we abandoned our local croquet as we could see the storm rolling in.
By the time Monday came around there had been plenty of rainfall in the catchment area upstream from Wagga. This caused major flooding in the Murrumbidgee. The river level quickly rose.
At 9.30pm all residents in the Wagga Wagga CBD received evacution orders and busily began packing, moving, lifting furniture before 6am Tuesday morning.
Having spent the night at my friend’s place (Thanks Bill) spent the day takng in the water views around Wagga Wagga. Amazing to see so much water…
Kangaroos “swimming for it” across kilometres of waters.
Wagga CBD protected by a 10.70 metre levee bank. The integrity of the levee could not be guaranteed, hence the evacuation. The river was tipped to peak at 10.90 metres.
The train travelling across the Murrumbidgee at Wagga Wagga.
Every sheep for themselves… inovative ways to keep dry
And all over NSW the rain was falling and causing problems
Approximately 80% of NSW was flood affected, of which 80% of the water will flow into the Murray Darling basin to South Australia.
After a hectic few days of packing, sleeping on foreign couch and finally getting back to work, decided it best not to play in the NSW 3 & under. Whilst it was to prepare for the Eire Cup, nothing like some rest was required to get prepared for the 10 days of croquet ahead in Perth.
Dennis has been a great supporter over the past few years. Always enjoy staying with him when I am in Sydney and sharing croquet experiences. He is also a terrific coach and spends much of his time at the Cammeray Croquet club.
Sandy Bay Croquet Club, Hobart, Tasmania
First day of the gold-medal, not nervous and just taking in the whole thing of being part of the gold-medal and representing New South Wales. The support that I have been receiving via e-mails and texts has just been fantastic. Had a bit of a struggle in the early games against Don Close and Bob Bye, but was able to get through and win those. Missed a 5 yarder against Stephen Forster which was very costly. Had an epic game against Allan Sands, had trouble completing the Continue reading
Practice & 3 & Under
The final team practice before Tasmania was really enjoyable. In the “reserves” game against Pam I attempted a QPO, however missed the rover peel, letting Pam back into the game for the eventual win. Had a good session with Tim and Pete spending time on straight peels, rushing, leaves and tripling.
Day one of the 3 & Under I woke up a stiff as a board and exhausted. Kept missing to the left all day by 2 to 3 feet which resulted in only winning one game of the four played.
Day two was still very sore (will be off to the chiro as soon as I get back to Wagga) however was able to hit everything in the middle and played well with the best game being the last one versus Rosie.
Have really enjoyed being part of the team as reserve and involved with the practice sessions and having good hit outs in both the doubles and the singles. Really looking forward to heading down to Tasmania, representing New South Wales, and being able to catch up with Mum.
5 & Under doubles
Given the last week was spent moving was very grateful to share the ride with my doubles partner Stephen Richards from Goulburn up to Sydney. We both played well on day 1, despite missing a couple of opportunities to triple, won 3 from 3. On day 2 was very happy to make two breaks of nine (error free). We won our first game, however we lost the game against Pete and Tim in a close encounter 26 – 23 after Pete TPO’d Stephen with Tim for (I think it was) 4 and I was for 4back. Overall was a good weekend with Pete and Tim the eventual winners and Stephen and myself as runner-up.
W00H00, Received a phone call from Ron Johnson stating that I had been selected as the men’s reserve for the New South Wales croquet team. So a quick trip to Sydney on Saturday morning is in store for the Christmas luncheon and training on Sunday. Wow what an honour.
My goal at the beginning of the year was to ay in the Bronze medal. Thanks to Tim Murphy who helped me and made me answer the question “what do I have to do to become a Bronze medal player?”.
Narrowly missing the rankings , I had to win the Selectors 10, so had to play the top seeds on the first day.
Game 1 v Pete Landrebe. Won the opening and made 9. Pete missed the leave, Continue reading
Played at a number of different venues with a field of 18 in 2 blocks of 9. Superhoops were also used at Tempe for the first time in a NSW event.
Day 1 started with a couple of good wins over Martyn Prins and Alan Walsh which triggered another handicap level, so now playing off scratch. Lost the third game of the day to Tim Murphy after been hampered out of hoop 1 and missing. Lost 1 – 26tp.