FLEUR Brockway is the state champion of a sport few know about and even less know how to play.
Typically stereotyped as a game for rich garden parties or for seniors, Brockway was just 13 when she first took an interest in the sport when her dad taught a beginners course during the school holidays.
Ten years later, Brockway has been dubbed the golf croquet WA female champion after becoming the highest ranked woman in the state.
She also holds her own against the men, ranked eighth in the state overall.
“It is hard being at the top, everyone wants to beat you all the time and if they do, they never let you forget it,” she said.
“That being said, it is a great honour to be number one and makes me want to work harder to keep my spot.”
Marking a big year for the East Fremantle Croquet Club member, she recently returned from Victoria where she represented WA at the national Eire Cup, helping the team to a third place finish.
Brockway, who is also a professional opera singer, said she usually received weird looks when she told people she played croquet.
“It’s mainly because the sport doesn’t get much public exposure but I then tell them about how challenging it is and how much I’ve been able to travel because of my involvement and then they start paying more attention,” she said.
“I also understand it’s because of the stereotype attached to the croquet for it being an ‘older’ persons’ game, which is completely incorrect.
“Just because it doesn’t involve running or tackling people, doesn’t make it less of sport.
“The majority of the top players in the world are around 20-40 years old but you can still be very competitive at an international level well into your 70s.”
Brockway will be preparing for a number of national competitions this year as she looks to improve her world ranking and earn selection for the World Championships next year.