A stroke may have knocked Colin Weismantel down, but it has not taken him out of the game completely.
It's been two years since he fell ill, but now he's back playing competition croquet. At the ripe age of 92-years-old, Colin may be the oldest player at the Gloucester Croquet Club, but he is up there among the best.
After returning to the sport around Christmas last year, after his stroke in June 2017, Colin seems to have found his feet again, putting his name down for the singles club championship in golf croquet. It's one of the club's biggest events of the year and its played over two days, giving players two chances to make it though to the finals.
On Monday, June 17, Colin worked his way through the field, making it to the quarter-finals where he came up against Al Minis. Although he didn't beat Al, he sure gave him a run for his money.
Colin started playing croquet when he was 85-years-old after being invited to try the sport.
"I really liked it," Colin smiled. "I like everything about it; the company and playing outdoors."
Before his stroke, he used to play four times a week and was often seen playing competitions at other clubs around the zone, representing Gloucester. Travelling to other clubs is something Colin really enjoyed doing as it offered a different social environment and a new challenge on the court.
The general consensus around the Gloucester Croquet Club is that Colin is a valuable member of the team when playing at various competitions around the zone and beyond. Members also agree that he is a very gentle and calm player; never known for losing his temper or throwing his mallet.
It's his level-headed natural that makes him a good partner according to fellow member, John Ikin.
"He's a nice steady player and I'm an aggressive player, so he makes a good partner," John said.
In all his years of playing croquet, Colin has yet to win the club championship but has come close many times, and given his recent results, he may be up for next year's title.
According to John, Colin's right back to the same level he was playing at before he became unwell.
Colin plays both singles and doubles, depending on the event, enjoying both options equally, but for him, it's really about the social aspect. Being social is something he picked up from his wife, Leah, and although she isn't a croquet player, they enjoy social time together at the Gloucester Probus Club.
If you're interested in giving croquet a try, you're welcome to come by the club on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday mornings or Monday, Wednesday or Thursday from 2pm.