Bunbury will grace the world stage on Saturday, with the 2023 WCF Retravision Over 50 Golf Croquet World Championship getting under way at the Moorabinda Croquet Club. For a week, some of the world’s best players will rub shoulders with some of regional WA’s finest, with camaraderie and forming new friendships at the forefront. Matches will be held across eight courts — six at Moorabinda, and two at the adjacent Bunbury Tennis Club. Aside from helping prepare for the titles with fellow dedicated volunteers, Moorabinda playing official Gary Phipps is one of several Bunbury-based players ecstatic to have such a prestigious event on our doorstep. “One of the big names coming will be Egypt’s Ahmed El Mahdy, who won the 2015 world championship,” he said. “He’s also participated in every world championship since 2002. “Also Stephen Mulliner, who’s a real statesman of the game from England. We’ve got a really strong contingent of players from there, along with the US, Egypt and Canada. “Two of the Canadian players will be travelling here via Egypt, due to having just played in the Egpytian Open. One of the great things about our sport is you get to the opportunity to travel.” Phipps encouraged everyone to stop by and check out the free event. “The start time every morning will be 8.30am,” he said. “There will be four sessions throughout the day — 8.30am, 10.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm, with all matches a best-of-three. We’ll have morning teas, coffees and lunches. “Most of this will be over at the tennis club, so we’ve been able to utilise this and work together with them.” Club officials are hopeful the added exposure of croquet throughout Bunbury could lead to an added participation surge, particularly with people under the age of 35.