CROQUET WORLD'S SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
IN GREAT BRITAIN
Richard Hilditch is 38, single, and one of the most influential croquet
figures in Britain, though he has never found the time to be on the Croquet
Association Council (Britain's official national organizing body). He is
well known around the world by virtue of his omnipresence on the Nottingham
Board and his management and refereeing of major croquet events (most
recently the 1996 MacRobertson Test Series).
Richard works as a computer programer and has lived in Enfield in the north
of London for all his life, except for seven years at Cambridge, where he
studied Pure Maths and did research in Complex Analysis.
He started playing croquet at Cambridge in the late 70's. He credits
himself with being partly responsible for an influx of new players into the
game, helping to change the dominant tenor of the playing community in
England from upper class to intellectual class.
When asked to describe himself, he says, "I could compare myself to Jerry
Stark - without the braces and moustache but with a bigger belly. My famed
accoutrements are a big plastic bottle of Orange Squash (soda without
bubbles) and packet of chocolate biscuits ("cookies" to Americans). I also
have a furry dice for tossing up instead of a coin."
Richard's handicap these days goes up and down between 3 and 4. He is known
for playing very fast (close to Burridge speed) and looking as if he doesn't
care whether he hits, scores, or wins.
At Cambridge, he ran the croquet club at college and university level for
several years. He is today secretary of the Harrow Oak Croquet Club in NW
London and chairman of the
South East Croquet Federation, which is responsible for the clubs in London,
Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
Richard somehow finds time to manage about 12 events each year, including
several regional championships and - for the last nine years - the British
Open championships at Hurlingham. On the weekends when he's not managing
tournaments, he's usually playing in them.
We hope Richard will favor us often with new installments of his inimItable
blend of news, analysis, and opinion in "The Hilditch Report."