Hall of Fame
Amir Ramsis Naguib
Amir Ramsis Naguib began playing Golf Croquet with friends at the Gezirah Club in Cairo in 1968. He became a strong player and represented the club in Men’s Doubles in matches from 1970 to 1975. However, marriage, children and building up and running his own tourist agency took him away from the game until 1992.
Now a successful businessman, Amir returned to croquet at the Heliopolis Club and was soon representing the club in Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Over the next ten years, he became the team manager and a generous sponsor of tournaments and the top Egyptian players.
In 2001, Amir stood for election as President of the Egyptian Croquet Federation with the widespread support of the playing community. He immediately set about reorganizing the inter-club competitions, namely the Egyptian League, the Egyptian Cup and the Egyptian Federation Cup, and introduced for the first time a domestic ranking system for men and women. His other priority was the upgrading of the Egyptian Croquet Federation centre and the restoration of its three courts.
Amir was elected to the Management Committee of the World Croquet Federation in 2002. Golf Croquet now stood on at least equal terms with Association Croquet and the Golf Croquet World Championship was now well established, having been held five times since 1996. However, Amir recognised the needs of women and the older and younger players and, with the support of David Openshaw, the then WCF President, was the driving force behind the formation of a Women’s Golf Croquet World Championship, first held in 2005, an Under 21 Golf Croquet World Championship, first held in 2009 and an Over 50 Golf Croquet World Championship, first held in 2010. All the inaugural events were held in Cairo and were great successes. These events are now permanent items in the WCF championship schedule.
Amir also travelled widely to promote Golf Croquet, visiting England, Italy, the USA and China to showcase the fearless, hard-hitting Egyptian way of playing Golf Croquet. Inevitably, the Egyptian approach influenced the tactics of top players in other countries and, eventually, led to the emergence in 2011 of the first non-Egyptian Golf Croquet World Champion. As the President of the Egyptian Croquet Federation, Amir exercised his considerable administrative skills by acting as the organiser and manager of the Egyptian squads that have had and continue to have so much success at World Championship level. During his tenure, Egypt has won four Golf Croquet World Championships, three Women’s Golf Croquet World Championships, two Over 50 World Championships and one Under 21 Golf Croquet World Championship.
Amir was elected as President of the World Croquet Federation in 2012 and served two four-year terms, retiring at the end of 2019. He was a very popular President who ensured that he attended almost every World Championship during his period in office. He remains a member of the WCF Management Committee and hopes to continue to serve croquet in Egypt and internationally for as long as he can.
The discovery in the 1980s that Egypt played Golf Croquet, and to a level undreamt of by players elsewhere, remains a pivotal moment in the history of the sport. It led to the establishment of Golf Croquet as a serious code in its own right, shrugging off its previous reputation in other countries as an unimportant practice game that provided occasional amusement for Association Croquet players.
Egypt is still the world’s major Golf Croquet nation and the skills of its players, especially the younger stars, are a continuing inspiration to players all over the world. The importance of Amir’s role in maintaining and developing Egyptian croquet for more than twenty years, and thereby supporting croquet worldwide, cannot be overstated. He has been one of the most influential national administrators in the history of croquet and the game owes him a considerable debt of gratitude.