The World Croquet Federation (WCF) is delighted to once again be back in New Zealand for Tier 1 of the 3rd WCF Golf Croquet World Team Championship and we are very grateful to Croquet New Zealand for agreeing to host the event and also to the various sponsors for their generous and invaluable support. The host club Nelson Hinemoa deserves particular thanks and I am sure that many of their members, as well as giving up their lawns for the week, will be making significant personal contributions to ensure the event is a success. On behalf of the WCF I would like to thank all the volunteers involved, whatever role you have undertaken, without all of your combined efforts the event would not be possible.

This is the first World Championship since my recent election as WCF President and I am sorry that I am unable to be there. Those of you familiar with the history of the event will be aware that this is at least in part my own doing, having lost at the final hoop of the final match of the relegation play-off for Wales against South Africa last time around! At the other end of the table the dramatic final saw New Zealand beat the inaugural champions Egypt. I am sure that New Zealand are particularly keen to defend their Openshaw Shield title on home soil and that everyone else is just as keen to stop them.

Whatever your reason for visiting the event I am sure you will have a great time in Nelson, I have good memories of playing there during my first visit to New Zealand in 1993. If you are taking a holiday, before or after the event, I am sure you will have a great time exploring New Zealand. For those of you spectating whether you are a seasoned observer, or watching top level golf croquet for the first time I hope that the competition is exciting, with plenty of top quality play and spectacular shot making. Finally I would like to thank all the players competing, strong teams are a vital part of a World Championship and your support has ensured that this is again the case. May the best team win!

Ian Burridge