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Women Out of Doors
BILLIARDS AS NATIONAL SPORT "Ideal for Women," LINDRUM Believes
"If women can stand up to men at tennis and golf, they can. give them a decent game of billiards," is the opinion of Walter Lindrum, the world's champion billiard player. He thinks that the women of Adelaide are really interested in the game, since so many are visiting the daily match between
T.inriniTn considers that billiards is an ideal game for ?women. In. fact, lie goes as far as to say that billiards should be our national game lor women. Englishwomen are very keen on. the game, and are playing so well that be expects it trill not be long before they are contesting championships -with men. The rangiKh woman champion for 1930, Miss Joyce Gardner, is only 20 years of age, and retained the title against 100 entrants in this year's cons test, -which was held last February in Ixradon. All the English provincial towns have a ladies' billiard circle, and county competes with county. For the championship each county enters its best player. A great many of the leading retailers of biUiards equipment employ expert women billiardists for demonstrating and teaching, the latter including visits to private homes to give lessons. Men and women are included in their lists of pupils. Miss Gardner is employed by one of these firms, and Miss Margaret McLennan, a Scotch lassie of 21 years, who holds the Bri tish, championship, represents another firm. In Lindrum's opinion Miss MtiLennan is ttie better player of the two, although she did. not compete in the February championship, owing to business rivalry. In November, 1829, these two girls defeated two men in a four-handed match of 300 up by 300 points to 285 at Holborn HalL They have also toured the British' Tsi??_ Another prominent player is Miss - Eva Collins, billiard marker and coach of the Women's Lyceum Club, in lAmfa** Miss Col lins's play is so attractive that she always draws a large crowd, and on one occasion 2,000 members of the Lyceum Club gathered to watch ner. She to like a player in a hurry, and has Handled a billiard cue ever since she was able to reach a table. AH these players have n^de breaks of over 200. In Church Halls As an advocate for women bil liardists, Lindrum says that there is an entirely new attitude towards the game, and' he considers that women will play a big part in the near future. "At one time it was regarded as a sort of bar-parlour pastime, in which women could not indulge publicly. But now that even professional matches are sometimes played in church halls the game has become more respectable," he says. Compared to the present day cost of feminine rivalry in almost all forms of eport, billiards is most reasonable, as an individual player requires only a cue. As a scientific game Londrum regards tennis and golf "as a huge joke alongside billiards." The present championship between the eexes in the majority of sports is another big factor in the claim for women's favor. A great many of the English churches have catered for the social side of billiards by having tables installed In their parish ha-ns, and available to both sexes. The game is particularly suited to women, for it inspires graceful move ments, requires delicacy of touch, ac curacy of eye, keen concentration, and self-control, besides providing good exercise without strenuous exertion. Women croquet playeiE should make good billiardists. Croquet, which has been defined as lawn billiards, requires "the skill of a bUliard player and the brains of a chess player." limiaids at Home Xiindrum would like to see billiard tables installed in the women's social clubs in Adelaide, and his enthusiasm is practical, for he would be glad to give helpful advice, and send books and literature on the art of the game. For the woman at home, he says that quite good billiards can be played on a six-foot table, so that even if a full-sized table cannot be afforded, or there is not the room for it, there is still the opportunity for a woman to learn to play billiards on less expen sive equipment. The most important part of billiards is to get the correct attitude at the table, and this can be acquired easily by studying books written by the great professionals. There are certain stands and certain bridges for dif ferent shots. Lincrum strongly ad vises any woman taking up the game to study these points carefully, other wise bad habits—4o the lasting disad vantage of the player—will be formed, and will be hard to break. Billiards require constant practice, and, like many other games, the keen players will find that the more they play the more they have to learn, and will learn. The important matches for men in England and America are closely watched by hundreds of women at each session. The championship matches are, in fact, social events, the women wearing evening dress with beautiful jewels. There is all the at mosphere of a gala night. America has several national championships for women, and all the women's athletic and social clubs are equipped with bil liard tables—some having as many as 10 tables. The only likely woman champion for
Australia knotm to Xiindrum at pre sent is his niece, aged 10, wno is being coached, by the world champion's father. She plays a full-size table, which She can only just reach, and with a small cue specially made for her. "In ten years' time," says Mr. Lindrum, "she should be piling up record breaks." Sporting Spirit in India The instilling of the true sporting spirit as known by the Britisher is one of Hie tasks of the workers in the Y.W.C.A, organisation in Trujin. Miss Nina Brent.nall, secretary of the Y.W.C-&. in Travandrum, the capital city of Travancore, who has been in Adelaide this week, spoke of the diffi culty which the instructresses some times experience in teaching of outdoor games to the girls of India, who, un fortunately, are children today and wives tomorrow. Travancore is, however, more given to sport and play than any of the other States, because of the westem-minded ness of the late Maharajah, who, ten years ago, had physical exercises and sports taught in the schools and colleges of Travancore. Today it is still com pulsory under the reign of the regent Maharanee. Matriarchal inheritance is common in Travancore. The husband takes sec ond place, has no say in the affairs of the children, and can be divorced at wilL The woman is the head of the house; has the money, owns the pro perty, and is free to do as she likes. Travanoore -women are very enlight ened—largely by their own efforts, un der the influence of the late "Mahara jah, and greatly through the social service of the T.W.C JL, which, amongst oilier things, seeks to Interest native women ifi modern hygiene. A district nurse, for instance, gathers a group of women together in one of the mud huts and tells them the simple rudiments of infant welfare. The girls of the college play outdoor games every afternoon under the coaching of native sportswomen. They wear the native costume and always have bare feet, 'which, in games like hockey and bas ket ball, seem to the westerner a spar tan custom. Badminton also Is a popular pas time, and is played out of doors on hard earth courts, similar to those on which they play tennis. The Y.W.CA. started the first train ing: for outdoor, games and sports in Calcutta. Bombay, and Madras, and their physical directors also trained the first teachers for the Government schools in British India. Miss Brent nall organised the first sports pro gramme 20 years ago, when ehe was doing student work at the college. The girle were training in the close precincts of the school, and the sports meeting was held in the compound at Calcutta. This* was the first of its kind ever held for girls in India. Indian schools and Anglo-Indian schools competed to gether. A Prejudice Still Although sport has advanced con siderably since then, there is still a prejudice against it among the older conservative Tnflijin.'; who consider that any movement of the limbs must be dancing—which is regarded as immoral. The tendency of the TniHa n is to lead a sedentary life, and it is diffi culty to convince him that exercise and games are not dancing. Miss Brentnall laughingly recalled an occasion, many years ago, when she started teaching girls tennis. The proceedings were carefully guarded with a 20-foot wall around the compound. By some means, the male Tnrii^.-n!; dis covered what was going on inside the wall, and there was a great hue and cry over the girls being thus -"Jed to immorality" by dancing!" "I was nearly hsunded out of the town," added Miss Brentnall. In spite of training, the Indian girl frequently lacks the true sporting in stinct. She knows there is a prize to be won and she wants It In a5O yards sprint, for instance, if a girl attempted to pjss the leader the latter would shoot out her foot and trip her oppo nent up. Even, sow, a Badminton team will sit down and cry if the umpire decides against them. Their own native games are limited, and are really babyish. They are played in the courtyards, and a form of hop-ecotch is the chief "national" game of the Indian child until it comes under the healthy influence of the T.W.CA. or other Christian or ganisation, which trains their intel ligence. There are beautifully laid-out golf links in Travancore. A course of nine holes was laid down by the Mahara jah amidst gay gardens and tropical plants and jfith a picturesque club house, which is used for sports and social events. The links and clubhouse are open to all, and the Maharanee (niece of the former ruler and regent for her son under the matriarchal law) is fre quently seen swinging her golf etick over the greens. She is responsible for the upkeep of the links and grounds, which are a boon to the small white population in Travancore, which pays no fees for the use of the links.