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Passing on skills . . . Croquet New Zealand youth squad member Harry Wilson shows Sport Waitaki co-ordinator Pip Sutton (left) and two new members of the Awamoa Gardens Croquet Club how it's done. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

When Harry Wilson and Sen McMaster stumbled across croquet four years ago, they never expected to end up where they have.

The Awamoa Gardens Croquet Club young players have been selected for the Croquet New Zealand youth squad.

Club life member and coach Ethel Johnson was over the moon the pair was selected for higher honours.

“We’re really quite thrilled – they’re very nice, very lovely boys.”

Croquet New Zealand sport development officer Greg Bryant was very impressed with the pair, she said.

Up to 10 people were chosen for the squad, which would provide them with extra coaching and a pathway to the under-21 side.

They would go to Christchurch and could compete in tournaments, but it would depend on their availability, with school exams on at the moment.

Harry and Sen joined the club and started coming to Monday night sessions with various coaches, including Jenny Macnab.

“It’s great that they’ve stuck with it.”

The pair competed in several tournaments and competitions, and had done very well for themselves.

It was not the first time the club had a young player achieving national success. Duncan Dixon was part of New Zealand’s world champion golf croquet team earlier this year.

“He’s played overseas and won many things there.”

She believed the influx of young players was partly to do with former Waitaki Boys’ High School teacher Brian Monckton, who encouraged them to be involved.

“We’ve always sort of had kids coming on a Monday night, and I think croquet is an option of one of their sports,” Johnson said.

“Not so many are coming now, but those two have stuck with it and they really, really are good.”