Phyllis Court's Chris Roberts was recognized by the Croquet Association for 'Services to Croquet'
His award was presented, with the following citation, by CA President Quiller Barrett
at the CA's AGM at The Hurlingham Club on 19 October 2019.
Chris Roberts joined Phyllis Court Croquet Club in 2006 and not long afterwards became, and remains, the backbone of the Club.
He brought the energy and enthusiasm for competitive play that he had enjoyed in a previous sporting career in rugby, and that positive force rippled through the well-established Phyllis Court club, at a time when it was centred on the social side of croquet.
Chris was quickly brought onto the club committee to oversee the courts (having been recognised as agile enough to set hoops!) and he soon used that position to champion for improved playing conditions and competitive opportunities.
He assisted Frances Colman, who shared that competitive vision, in introducing handicaps for all club members, and this then allowed for the introduction of classed competitions and tournaments for all levels of ability, and the establishment of two new Handicap League teams.
Chris qualified as GC Championship referee, graded GC and AC coach, and, over time, he and Frances became an experienced tournament management double-act at club, Federation and CA level.
Chris had a successful first stint as Phyllis Court Croquet Chairman 2011-13, with the mantra to 'provide something for everyone', and that saw more internal events arrive and CA fixture book tournaments return for the first time in decades, all the while taking care not to disturb the long-established social playing periods at Phyllis Court.
Chris became the Development Officer of the Southern Federation before being elected its Chairman in 2012 and he also took on the Editorship of the Croquet Gazette in 2013. He continues to performer both roles whilst playing to Championship Level in both croquet codes.
In 2012 Chris was brought on to the GC Tournaments Committee of the CA where he proved the doubters wrong with the introduction of the very successful B-Level Series in 2014 and he subsequently energetically repeated the same theme again in 2017 with the introduction of C-Level Series, thereby establishing a production line for future GC talent.
A call back to the Phyllis Court chairmanship position came in 2016 and Chris has overseen the most successful on-court period in the history of the Club, topped by his captaincy of the Club to the GC Inter-Club Championship Final in 2018.
Chris is immensely proud to have recruited 168 Phyllis Court players to membership of the CA, making the club the largest in the country by that measure. He maintains the highest level of commitment to croquet and shows no sign of slacking off as the years roll by.
As Chris ends his second period as club chairman, Phyllis Court CC commends him for the award of a CA Diploma for Service to his Club and the wider Sport of Croquet.