George Latham

World Croquet Federation

Hall of Fame

George Frederick Latham

Born: 1941

Died: 2010

Inducted: 2011


George Latham was a devotee of croquet and a stalwart of the sport in Victoria and Australia as a player, coach, administrator, innovator and visionary.

George, who was an accomplished sportsman in other areas including hockey, cricket, Australian football, orienteering and marathon running, came to croquet in 1975 when he joined the Essendon (Victoria) club, of which he was later made a Life Member.

As a player, George developed to the point that he held:
. many Victorian titles and team memberships from 1984-2000
. Australian Men's Singles Championship in 1983,1984,1987, 1988, and 1990;
. Australian Open Singles Championship title in 1984 and 1985;
. Australian Open Doubles Championship in 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1991
. Australian Golf Croquet Open Singles Championship in 2002;
. Australian Golf Croquet Handicap Doubles Championship in 2000;
. the British Bronze Medal in 1984 and the Silver Medal in 1986; and
. represented Australia in the MacRobertson Shield in 1986 and 1990, at the WCF World Championships 1989 and 1990, and as a  member of the 1991 Trans-Tasman Team.
 
George was the coach of the 1996, 2003 and 2006 MacRobertson Shield teams, coached the Victorian teams during 2000-2004 and was appointed National Development Squad Coach 2000-06.  At his death, he was the Victorian Director of Coaching and had just completed sessions to reaccredit coaches in eastern Victoria.

George also contributed to the sport as a referee and as an Australian selector in 1992, 1993 and 2000-2004, and as a Victorian selector 2008-2009.

As an administrator, George had a fine record, being:
. President of Essendon Croquet Club in 1984-85 and 2006-07, as well as periods as Secretary, Club Captain, Club Coach, Handicapper and Greenkeeper;
. Secretary of Brunswick Croquet Club 1993-96, President 1997-99
. Senior Vice-President of Victorian Croquet Association 1996-1998, President 1998-2001 and Secretary 2004-2010;
. Vice-President of the Australian Croquet Association in  2001-04

George developed Aussie Croquet as a simplified form of the game for schools and instigated the Croquet Victoria schools program and the Croquet Victoria Schools Championships.

George's vision made him the driving force behind the sale of the previous Croquet Victoria headquarters at Warleigh Grove, Brighton and the construction and development of the current Victorian Croquet Centre with its 12 courts at Cairnlea.

His epitaph, as voiced by his widow, Marion, is "croquet nut".