Today Heathrow invites passengers of Terminal 2 to play a game of Crazy Croquet on a unique course, designed to celebrate the best of British with rose bush obstacles, teapot shaped hoops whilst washing it all down with a refreshing glass of Pimm’s.
Recent research by Heathrow into the nation’s summer pastimes found that croquet is not getting the interest it deserves with only 2% of Brits currently playing it. Hoping to give the ‘Queen of Games’ a new lease of life by showcasing its appeal on the world-stage, the Crazy Croquet lawn has been created to embrace the sport’s flamboyant heritage, whilst also bringing the 159 year old activity into the 21st century.
When asked what was holding those interested back from playing, the lack of understanding (43%) and shortage of public playing spaces (35%), whilst the sociable nature (37%), traditional Pimm’s drinking (30%) and slow pace (40%) were praised as the appealing aspects of the sport.
Croquet boasts a long and illustrious history and was first played in Britain over 150 years ago. The pursuit was a highly popular pastime in the Victorian era thanks to gameplay that allowed participants to enjoy a slow paced game in the sun whilst supping on a Pimm’s cup.
However, despite being lauded one of the top three quintessentially British sports, alongside Cricket and Tennis, recent research by Heathrow revealed that almost three quarters (74%) of Brits have no interest at all in croquet and one in 20 have never even heard of the sport.
In a bid to revamp the sport and attract a younger audience, Heathrow and Pimm’s have teamed up with London croquet club, Croquet East, to create the spectacular Crazy Croquet course, which will be positioned in Terminal 2 for one week.
Rejoicing the quintessential Britishness of croquet and its age-old association with Pimm’s, the course’s design is inspired by the best of British summertime with a nod to the Pimm’s heritage. Hoping to bring the classic sport into the 21st Century, a number of technical innovations, including laser-guided mallets and musical hoops, will be trialled. Players will be invited to learn the ropes in the unique version of the game, which allows passengers to play a round in just 15 minutes.
Showcasing the iconic British sport to an international audience at Terminal 2, the crazy croquet course will celebrate a special seasonal offer exclusive to Heathrow, of just £9.99 per bottle of Pimm’s with every purchase, by offering thirsty adults a refreshing glass after their game. The traditional British drink is a popular purchase at the airport, selling over 54,000 bottles of Pimm’s each year – with over a quarter of those travelling to the US with American buyers.
Kim Gray, Head of Retail at Heathrow, said: “Despite being a classic summer pastime, our research revealed that croquet is in need of a revival. Pimm’s is one of the most popular British drinks sold at Heathrow, so we know there’s an appetite for all things quintessentially British and we really hope our fun and quirky croquet course offers passengers the chance to try something new before jetting off, as well as raising the profile of this classic sport.”
The Heathrow and Pimm’s Crazy Croquet course will be open for passengers passing through Terminal 2’s departure from 8 – 14 July
Notes to editors:
Research for Heathrow carried out by OnePoll between 29/01 and 01/07 amongst a panel of 2,000 British adults.
Heathrow is the UK’s hub airport, home to more than 80 airlines connecting to more than 180 destinations.
Every year Heathrow welcomes over 70 million passengers with a commitment to ‘making every journey better’.
Following an investment of more than £11 billion over the past 10 years, passengers have voted Heathrow the ‘Best Airport in Western Europe’, ‘Best Airport Terminal’ for Terminal 5 and ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ 7 years in a row.
How to Play Crazy Croquet
- Crazy Croquet is a team sport best played in pairs. The blue ball and black ball play together and the red ball and yellow ball
- Each player is assigned a ball and takes a shot in the order shown on the centre post: blue, red, black then yellow
- The aim of Crazy Croquet is to win by being the first team to 4 points
- To score a point you must get one of your team's balls through the hoop first
- Once a ball has gone through the hoop then that hoop is ‘dead’ and everyone heads to the next hoop continuing with the order of play. So if red scores, black will play next
- The hoops are played in a specific order following the path of the light lawn – you will clearly be able to see the start of the course and the end of it
- Remember croquet is a team sport. You can help your partner by trying to hit your ball into theirs and getting them into a better position or by blocking an opponent’s shot on them
- When a team reaches 4 points, the game is won and everyone must shake hands
- It is important to follow the direction of play. Going through a hoop backwards is allowed but you will not get a point
- No picking up your balls, they must always be played from where they lie
- No touching other people's balls with your mallet. If you do this the balls are placed back to where they were and you miss your go
- No going more than halfway to the next hoop until the previous one has been scored. If you do this you will be offside and a player of the opposing team can bash your ball far away