BBC Special on Trugo

If you’ve never heard of Trugo, you’re not the only one. Most Australian’s only learned more about it during a recent BBC special. Trugo is a sport that is a fusion of golf, hammer, lawn bowls and croquet and this great sport was created in Melbourne’s railway yards. One of the leading clubs in the Yarraville Trugo club run by the 89-year-old John McMahon. He is the former world champion of the sport that is more or less around 90 years old, even though it is unknown even to Melburnians.

How Trugo Works

Trugo is as weird as it is beautiful. The participants take a thick rubber ring, which needs to be balanced upright and then swings a wooden mallet that has a rubber tip between their legs, the goal is to hit the ring placed between two posts. But what makes it even more exciting is the fact that the player needs to do this while facing backwards.

Where it All Started.

According to research, Trugo is a sport that started in the early 1930s or even late 1920s by a Yarraville railway railwayman by the name of Tom Grieves. Who also became the Victoria Trugo Association’s very first president. As the history of the sport goes, Grieves was bored and decided to hit the rubber rings at the time used as shock absorbers with his mallet. There are also those who do know about the fantastic sport who claim it all started at the Newport Railway Workshops. Workers found the game during their lunch break.

The first mention of the sport in the media can be traced back to March 1950 when The Melbourne Herald reported that Grieves took buffers into a local park and hit them with a croquet mallet. As a sport, Trugo only left the railway yards once it was taken to the local parks by retirees, although the rings are still made of Welco Rubber, as they were back in the 1930s. In 1991, a retired signalman explained in the rules that all participants had to be at least 60 years of age or older and may believe McMahon when he said that his doctor told him that Trugo added at least ten years to his life.

Trugo The Sport Today

Unlike the rules back in 1991, Trugo is now a sport enjoyed by old and young, and the whacking of the ring is growing in popularity. The World Championship was won a few years ago by the 63-year-old Cheryl Waldon from Australia who describes the sport as fun and relaxing.

Trugo is a sport anyone should give a go and its right moments in the spotlight included the visit of the Dutch comedian in 2003 who arranged a game to be played via webcam, and Anthony Bourdain visited Australia during the 2009 Trugo games. As unusual as the name and the origin of the sport might be once you give Trugo a true-go, you might get hooked, so do add this to your bucket list of things worth trying.