Croquette is ok! Sport proves to be a hit with teens and students during the pandemic as clubs see double the number of new members enrolling in beginner courses
- Many new members have signed up at croquet clubs across the country
- The new players are teens, college students, brownie groups and more
- Croquet Association chiefs believe it is the perfect pandemic sport
Croquet is making a remarkable comeback as the ideal sport for the pandemic.
Clubs across the country have seen the number of new members signing up for beginner courses double.
And these devotees are a far cry from the Jeeves and Wooster types who might have enjoyed cucumber sandwiches and Pimm’s on the lawn.
Because while traditionally most players are over the age of 50, these recruits include Brownie groups, teens and college students, with both men and women competing on an equal footing.
The game of croquet is making a remarkable comeback as an ideal sport for the pandemic (stock image)
Clubs across the country have seen the number of new members signing up for beginner courses double. And these devotees are far removed from the Jeeves and Wooster types who may have enjoyed cucumber sandwiches and Pimm’s on the lawn (stock image)
Fans include Pippa Middleton, who wrote a quick guide to the game, and in the past, celebrities from Snoop Dogg to George Clooney and Brad Pitt have been seen with hammers.
And leaders of the governing body The Croquet Association claim it’s the perfect pandemic sport.
Game of Kings (and Prescott)
- Pall Mall in London is named after an early form of the game – paille-maille – played there by Charles II
- Croquet has been played on ice in Antarctica by fans of an American observatory station
- The most famous tennis club in the world, Wimbledon started in 1868 as the All England Croquet Club. In 1877 it became the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.
- Rapper P Diddy held a croquet party to celebrate his Hollywood Walk of Fame star
- After Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott played croquet at Checkers in 2006 while supposedly running the country, Asda saw a 300 percent increase in croquet set sales.
Spokesperson Eugene Chang, one of the UK’s elite players, said: ‘It is open to all ages and it is extremely easy to social distancing.
“Some of our clubs are reporting more than double the registrations for beginners courses and taster sessions, which are usually held in April.”
Mr Chang added: “The pandemic has improved our sport in many ways. Our clubs have implemented online booking systems as part of our Covid-19 safety protocols, significantly increasing the use of the courts.
“A mix of ages and genders have reached out to our clubs, reflecting the nature of croquet as a static ball sport open to all.
“Many clubs reported questions from younger people, including those of working age, students, and especially couples looking for a physical sport to practice together.
“Many mainstream sports separate very quickly by gender and croquet is one of the few where physical strength is less important than touch, accuracy and tactics.”
John Lewis has also reported that sales of his family’s six-hammer croquet sets are up 280 percent from a year ago.
Though croquet is thought of as quintessentially English, it is thought to have originated in northern France with influence from crookey, a game played in Ireland.