As a regular reader of the Daily Telegraph on my I-Pad, I have been intrigued to see references in two successive days to the predicted demise of the game of croquet. In Thursday’s Telegraph, an unidentified reporter predicted the demise of the sport by 2037 unless younger people pick up the croquet mallet. He or she typically depicted it as a sport of the upper classes, remote from Joe Soap. As a symbol of hope, he described the creation of a crazy croquet course at Heathrow Terminal 2 and I suspect the piece was stimulated by a press release from the British Airports Authority.
However, Friday’s Telegraph contains a piece in the Comment section by Jemima Lewis. She pans the Croquet Association for its incomprehensible rules and seems to end her piece more applauding the demise of croquet than hoping for its continuance.
However, I have a simple solution. The sport needs an ambassador. Someone who can cross the class divide and express support for a sport that has a long tradition and can be great fun for all. Of course, it is Lord Prescott and here he is, playing croquet at his stately home, enjoyed at the time as Deputy Prime Minister, at Dorneywood. Although he no longer enjoys the trappings of ministerial office, I have no doubt John Prescott has kept the thrill of this sport and would make a wonderful ambassador for croquet as he toured the stately homes of England that have the lawns to make the sport a success.