Closing Ceremony

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The Closing Ceremony took place immediately after the final game was over, on Lawn 1 with Tournament Director Phil Cordingley as MC, and some 300 spectators in attendance.

Jonathan Isaacs, Chairman of the Organising Committee initiated the proceedings by giving a short speech.

Players, Distinguished Guests, Volunteers and Spectators:

In 2005 Southwick agreed a long term strategy to make the club a centre of excellence for coaching and top level play. The Academy was created in 2007 and is now a regular venue for national and international croquet coaching.

The bigger challenge was our lawns. In 2013 we took the decision to raise the money necessary to re-lay them. The Croquet Association supported us once we had the funds in place and Clive Hayton, our club chairman, successfully led the implementation of the project with Ben Harwood, the groundsman. I am sure from the comments I have received that the players have found the lawns much improved. Thank you Clive, Ben and the grounds team.

None of this could have been achieved without the commitment and hard work from our members, so we were overjoyed in 2018, when the WCF accepted our joint bid with Compton, Royal Tunbridge Wells and West Worthing to host this championship. These other clubs all had to undertake work to bring their facilities up to the standards required for this event, but perhaps not as much as us.

The planning process started well over a year ago with the formation of our Organising Committee. This included the Tournament Director and Tournament Manager in addition to the Chairmen of all four clubs as well as some other specialists. I would personally like to thank all of you for all the hard work you have put into staging this event.

The top Cruise Liners often have a ratio of 1:1 in staff members to passengers. For these championships we have had more than 100 volunteers for the 80 players. They have all played their part in making this event a success and for that I would like to express my sincere thanks. The catering and grounds teams at all locations, together with the officials have been superb.

In terms of PR for the sport the bar has been raised. As well as local media interest we have achieved BBC and ITV television coverage and a three hour live BBC Radio show transmitted from Southwick. For the first time in many years The Times has published a feature article on the game. (See the Press page on our website.) Also the use of streaming and social media has come into its own and as of last night we have had well over 5,000 unique viewers from around the world on the CA's streaming service. (See our Photos/Videos page.) For all of you who have been part of this media process thanks.

To undertake an event of this magnitude requires considerable more support than the money provided from entrance fees. Without our sponsors this event could not have taken place. Thank you to all our sponsors, but especially to our main one Simon Carter who has made a major commitment to the success of this tournament, with his playing too! (See our Sponsors page for detail on all our sponsors.)

Finally, I would like to thank the players for showcasing a most superb example of Golf Croquet at the highest level. We've greatly enjoyed your company and hope you will come back and visit us in future years.

Amir Ramsis, President of the World Croquet Federation, then gave a vote of thanks to the sponsoring organisation, the Croquet Association, and the Organising Committee for a great event and also to the players for their play and sportsmanship and hope you'll all come back to the next Golf Croquet World Championship in New Zealand in 2021.

Then to the presentation of the awards:

PLATEJohn Bowcott, Chairman of the Croquet Association CouncilEuan Burridge (England)Lionel Tibble (England)
BOWLQuiller Barrett, President of the Croquet AssociationGeorge Coulter (New Zealand)Harry Fisher (England)
SHIELDAmir Ramsis, President of the World Croquet FederationDuncan Dixon (New Zealand)Tobi Savage (England)
CHAMPIONSHIPSimon CarterBen Rothman (USA)Mohamed Karem (Egypt)
  Losing semi-finalists:

Josh Freeth (New Zealand)
Hamy Erian (Egypt)

Quiller Barrett then presented a memento to Amir Ramsis on the occasion of his retirement as President of the WCF after 8 years of service.

Finally, Richard Bilton of England took the WCF flag from its place by Lawn 1 and passed it over to Joshua Freeth of New Zealand to be used for the 2021 Championship.