Penn State Club Croquet: Dabbling in “Broquet,” Battling Cancer
Raul Garcia and Steve McGettigan, two officers of Penn State’s Croquet Club, wouldn’t be able to tell you how an official croquet match works, or even how many strikers play at a time. But to them, that’s just fine.
Croquet may be their game (or lack thereof), but the two, along with other members, have transformed what began as a joke into a legitimate club sport and THON organization.
The club began in 2010 — a result of an ambitious group of freshman wanting their own club, and, according to Garcia “basically, like, a chill thing to do.” Papers were signed, a constitution was crafted, and a croquet club was formed.
Since its inception, the “broquet” club gained a reputation of being over the top in all of its actions. “We have a lot of gear,” said McGettigan. “We make a scene.”
They’re known for wearing booty shorts to football games, sprinting out of the gates at the THON 5K, and failing to pump up their homecoming float, electing instead to scooter by its side.
But despite its spurious origins, the club has become a significant THON organization. Recently, the croquet club adopted a THON child — Nick Fulton, an eleven-year-old from Elliottsburg, PA battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
“We always wanted to be more than just a club, we just didn’t know how,” said Garcia. “But when we realized our true potential. Once we got a THON child, we realized we could be a real thing.”
Six of the twelve members of the croquet house are THON captains, and the club raised $57,000 this past year for THON. This charity work and outlandish spirit has led the croquet club’s popularity to skyrocket.
“We had almost forty people playing croquet at our first meeting; people were excited this year,” said Garcia. “In fact, the only people not playing croquet were us, the officers. We were playing football.”
The club practices once a week and holds meetings biweekly. No previous croquet experience is required, so the members of the club encourage all that interested to attend.
Club Croquet has even been noticed outside of the Penn State community as well. Recently, Princeton University contacted the club to inquire about a match.
“We’ve never played before, and Princeton has a serious club,” said McGettigan. “I’m not saying we would win, we’d actually probably get killed. But it would be a great step for our club.”
For now, however, the members will work on improving their wicket work and raising money for THON. This true gentleman’s game has become a haven for this group of friends, and they want you to join them.
“We found a home in croquet,” said Garcia. “We can have so much fun together but at the same time give back. That’s hard to fine.”
For more on Penn State’s Club Croquet team, you can follow them at @psuclubcroquet.