CITATION – KEITH McLEOD
Awarded for contribution to Croquet & Mallet Sports.
Keith McLeod’s first involvement with mallet sports occurred in 1985 when he was wandering past Broadbeach Croquet Club and was invited in by a member. Keith was actually a holidaymaker and worked and lived in Melbourne. Om his return home, he joined a local club, thereby beginning more than a quarter of a century of involvement with mallet sports. It should be said that mallet sports includes the separate codes of Association or traditional Croquet, Golf Croquet, Ricochet and Gateball.
Keith was active in his local Club of Dandenong, serving as its Vice President for a number of years. He was also instrumental in saving the Springvale Club which was threatened with closure due to lack of membership.
During the 1990’s an Asian version of Croquet called Gateball came to the attention of Clubs in Melbourne. The Dandenong Club embraced this new mallet sport code and Keith’s promotion of the sport firmly established it in Victoria. He was appointed State Gateball Director and organized the inaugural Victorian Championships.
In 1998, Keith played in the World Gateball Championships in Hawaii as a member of the first Australian team to compete in such an event.
In the following year, the Australian Croquet Association appointed Keith as National Gateball Director wit Australia wide responsibilities for the promotion and development of Gateball.
In 2004, Keith played a major role in Australia’s successful application for membership of the World Gateball Union.
Keith relocated back to Queensland in 2004 and immediately set out to promote Gateball and soon had a group of enthusiastic players. In 2007, the Broadbeach Team under Keith’s captaincy, won the Queensland Gateball Championship.
Keith was instrumental in creating the Gateball Academy as the not-for-profit coaching academy for Gateball rules, skills and tactics. More than 100 players have benefitted from the Academy. Keith is also a qualified coach for Association Croquet and an accredited referee for both Association Croquet and Gateball, being one of only three accredited international referees for the latter code.
Keith has also represented Australia at the World Gateball Championships in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.