The day the torch came to Duncton

"We should be in the Olympics" The Rother Valley Croquet Club.''C120938-1 Mid Torch Duncton  Photo Louise Adams
"We should be in the Olympics" The Rother Valley Croquet Club.''C120938-1 Mid Torch Duncton Photo Louise Adams

The Duncton leg of the Olympic flame brought local interest, local pride – and a protest.

Thirty-five members of the Rother Valley Croquet Club, based at Duncton recreation ground, staged a demonstration against the continued exclusion of their sport from the Games.

They breakfasted on bacon butties before lining the roadside at the entrance to the recreation ground, waving their mallets in the air.

It was a good-natured affair but club president Katharine Minchin said it had a serious message.

“Croquet was dropped as an Olympic sport 100 years ago. No one seems to have any idea why.

“It requires great skill and concentration – a cross between chess and snooker on grass – and it is a sociable game. We are very keen to have it back in the Olympics.”

Local interest came in the form of Ryan Hodd Jarvis, 15, who lives at Petworth, and Paul Zetter, 89, of Wisborough Green, both of whom carried the torch with pride through the village.

Ryan was nominated for his caring role, looking after his parents. They suffer from ME and diabetes, while his father also has Crohn’s disease and agoraphobia.

Mr Zetter’s nomination was in recognition of his work setting up the Sports Aid Foundation which has helped people like Sebastian Coe, ice dancers Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean and swimmer David Wilkie realise their Olympic dreams.

More pictures see Midhurst and Petworth Observer July 19