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The London 2012 Olympic Games kick-off on Friday.
Across the country, people are getting set
for the biggest sporting event the UK has ever seen.
Here in Middlesbrough, 12 kids are stepping up
to the challenge of a lifetime -
to organise an amazing party for the town to celebrate
the start of the Olympics.
Earlier this week, we saw Team 1 transform Party HQ,
and yesterday was all about creating Olympic-inspired ice cream.
Today - the sporting challenge.
Can these three take the quiet game of croquet, and turn
it into a sport of Olympic ambition in time for the party on Friday?
They will have a mentor - CBBC's Ore...
..and some local sporting heroes will be on hand
to put their game through its paces.
This is CBBC's Olympic Games Challenge.
The three locals hoping they won't be stumped by this challenge are,
David, Lois and Erin.
First up and ready to leap into action, 12-year-old Lois.
I do a lot of sports, I'm not one of them girls which goes, "Yuck,
"I don't want to get mucky!"
I'll just get everything a go.
Next, there's 12-year-old David who is passionate about ping-pong,
and hopes he can battle only niggling doubts about the challenge ahead.
I'm feeling really excited and a little bit nervous
because if our sport goes wrong then it could be a disaster.
And, finally, ready to put her own spin on things,
it is keen gymnast, Erin.
I think it's great to get everyone to try a new sport.
I just come up with crazy ideas, and sometimes people might think,
"That won't work," put it together and it's brilliant.
Trying to keep up with this sporting trio
and ready to come off the subs bench to help wherever
he is needed, it's Ore from Match Of The Day Kickabout.
Who reinvents sports?
I mean, how often do you see a sport completely rebranded
and turned into something new?
I'm excited to see what they come up with
because at the moment I have no idea.
Ore has arranged to meet the three of them in Albert Park.
It's here on Friday that they'll have to unveil the new sport to
hundreds of partygoers who will all want to try it out.
You all right? Fantastic.
Let's cut to the chase, you guys are three very talented sportspeople.
The Olympic on our doorstep, therefore, your challenge is
to reinvent and age old sport
and give it a bit of an Olympic flavour.
You're looking at me blankly.
Tell you what, come with me and I'll give you a clue.
All right, guys, your challenge is to reinvent the game of croquet.
Croquet was once a hugely-popular sport
and it even made an appearance at the Paris Olympics in 1900.
However, these days it's a sport that tends to appeal to the over 60s.
This croquet club in Albert Park
sits at the heart of where Friday's CBBC party is taking place.
We have challenged the kids to turn it into a sport
worthy of modern-day Olympians.
It looks like an old man's park.
If we can make it into a children's park then that would be good.
That is what I want to hear!
-Are you ready for your challenge?
All right! Anyone know the rules? Ah...
Before the kids can start thinking about giving croquet an
Olympic makeover, they're going to have to get to grips
with the sport first.
Here to run them through the basics is Albert Park's resident
croquet maestro, Charles Waterfield.
-Now, pick up the mallet.
-Step one, how to hold a mallet.
Just let it sway like a pendulum.
Step two, hitting a ball.
One at a time... professional.
Step three, scoring a point.
Yes, all right.
Let's see that again,
it's a fantastic strike it doesn't even touch the sides.
Look at him go!
That's what it means to him, no worries, Ore,
you're OK with the croquet.
Can I have a high five? Anybody? No, anybody? Thanks, Dave.
They've got to grips with the basics, it's time for a game.
Someone needs to hit that blue one.
No! Oh, Erin!
Oh, I've got my eye on you, Erin. I've got my eye on you.
Come on! Hit it there. Yes!
They've got to grips with the game,
the task now is to be invented for Friday's party.
I think it's going to be quite tricky to reinvent croquet.
No-one really thinks about croquet,
do they? They'll be a lot of ideas, so, yes.
Our sporting trio are going to need all the ideas they can get if they're
going to create a game to keep the crowds on the edge of the seat.
Ore thinks he knows just the place to go for some inspiration.
Guys, we are taking you to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
Your face, Dave! you seem pretty excited.
-Who wants to go to Wimbledon?
The big day has arrived and our sporty trio has travelled
down to London for their inspirational trip to Wimbledon.
I'm really excited but I've never been before.
Wimbledon, to go there, it'll be really good.
I've got a signature book, and I want to get some people's
signatures and just have a good time.
Wimbledon is the oldest
and most famous tennis tournament in the world.
Known for its grass courts, players from around the world battle
it out here every summer for the title of Wimbledon champion.
but, tennis wasn't the first sport to be played on these famous lawns.
You might not know this but the full name of this club is actually
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which means
that once upon a time, croquet and tennis went Hand-in-hand.
Before croquet fell of the radar.
So, your mission today, guys, is to go out there
and find out what makes tennis a game that is watched
and loved by millions of people
and see what you can bring from that into the game of croquet.
It's a great game to watch and an even better game to play.
Well, they couldn't come to Wimbledon and not play tennis.
This is going to be ace.
Well done, 31, 32,
we could be here for hours.
Smash it! Oh! Oh!
Ooft! No thanks, Dave.
I've got something special in my armoury. Let's play the game!
They've had a chance to play the game, but there is work to be done
and tennis coach Phil is on hand to answer their questions.
Have you got any ideas to make croquet more appealing?
It's quite a stationary game, isn't it? Tennis is the opposite -
you're moving all over the place.
Maybe in croquet you could chase the ball after you've hit it.
Or something like that to get more movement into the sport.
We should include having energy because everyone's having fun
If they were having croquet, they wouldn't be smiling or having fun.
Wimbledon attracts fans from far and wide, young and old.
You might bump into the odd Blue Peter presenter.
You aren't the best tennis player in the world.
-A little bit harsh.
-Sure. But you love the tennis.
-What's that all about?
-I love the crowds, how excited people get.
I love watching the mums leap out of their chairs.
We need to make croquet epic. That's the vibe from Helen Skelton.
We need to make croquet a sport that will be played in stadiums,
people will talk about it, it'll be on newspaper front pages.
Why don't you swap the balls for eggs?
Boil most of the eggs bar one.
Some will roll then you can hit them and it's fine.
For the odd boiled egg that is runny, that player is out.
I like the sound of that.
-We've got work to do.
-See you soon.
We've got lots of work to get through. Come on. This way.
It's game, set and match for the kids as it's time to leave.
But has the day given them the inspiration they need
to transform croquet?
We're talking about eggs instead of croquet balls.
We're talking about serving the croquet balls. Crazy outfits.
There's a lot of stuff going in there heads.
I can't wait to see what it is they come up with.
With the party around the corner, it's time for the kids to work out
the basics of their new sport.
They've decided to add obstacles to give croquet more colour and fun.
It'll be one of the best versions of croquet ever.
They'll have to decide what works.
And what doesn't work.
They'll be giving their new version of croquet a trial run.
Time to see if they've got a new sport.
It's the moment of truth.
They'll have to set up the course for their new game.
In a few minutes, elite athletes are coming along
to give the sport its first trial run.
They'll find out if their game is a hit or a miss.
Use those two. I'll use these two.
Putting ideas into practice is harder than they thought.
I'm not sure they know exactly what they're doing.
They're putting down hoops willy nilly.
It doesn't make sense yet.
What's going on over there?!
It's like a golf shot - you have to get it in the sand pit.
This should be enough.
I'm sure you know what you're doing.
Do all of you know what each other is doing?
It looks like they've come up with a course that they all agree on.
As well as the obstacles, they've designed their sport
to be a head-to-head race, to bring the energy to get the crowds going.
Time to meet the athletes who will give the sport its trial run.
-Are you ready to try it out?
Good to know.
Here to see if crazy croquet is ready for hundreds to play
are five sporting heroes from Middlesbrough Football Club,
here to give the game a trial run.
First, the rules.
You get the croquet ball through all the hoops.
You hit it through the tunnel, in the sand pit then space hop back.
To recap - cross the start line, into the hoops, through the hula hoop
into the tunnel, up the ramp to the sand pit onto the space hopper
bounce back and across the line.
That's crazy croquet.
It's time to play the game of crazy croquet.
First up, Team GB Olympic goalkeeper Jason Steele
up against midfield maestro Richie Smallwood.
On your marks, get set, go!
It's a slow start for Jason.
Richie is through the hula hoop and first to the tunnel.
It's a race to the finish and Richie's got it.
-What's it like to lose?
-The most pressured situation I've been in.
Fair play to him.
Jason Steele may have fallen at the first hurdle
but is this new sport a winner?
It went well. The footballers liked it.
The children cheered so they liked it as well.
Next, Middlesbrough legend Craig Hignett against Lucas Jutkiewicz.
The crowd getting behind the players here.
Craig is first to the sand pit and onto the hopper.
You missed! It's over there!
Through to the finish. But did he play by the rules?
Video evidence suggests that Craig has broken the crazy croquet rules
and must be disqualified.
Lucas, you're in the final.
A pre-match handshake between Richard and Lucas.
This sport looks like it's got that competitive edge
our trio were looking for.
They were rather competitive.
Especially when Craig got disqualified.
It made it more competitive for the others.
Richie will face Lucas for the title of crazy croquet champion.
This is the final.
On your marks, get set, go!
What a final!
It looks like Richie Smallwood is running away with it.
Richie, you're the champion.
The sky's the limit for you.
I think it is, yeah. The next task is to get it in the Olympics.
With a thumbs up from the players, that is where the sport it heading,
to CBBC's Olympic event.
It's been a great journey for our sporting kids.
From having never held a croquet mallet,
they aim to recreate a sport with the passion and excitement
to enthral hundreds at the party on Friday.
It's been a great success today but the biggest challenge
is still ahead of them.
It'll be nerve-racking doing it in front of hundreds of people.
I think it'll go well.
It's been like an amazing journey.
It brought the energy and more fun into croquet.
It wasn't boring like it was when we first played it.
It made a difference.
A bit of a way to go but I reckon
that on the 27th July
crazy croquet is the sport everybody will be talking about.
Tomorrow, the final group of kids are in charge of entertainments
for the party.
They'll audition local talent, who'll get top billing at the event.
We can do this.
Join us for tomorrow's Olympic Games Challenge.
CBBC challenges a group of kids from Middlesbrough to stage the perfect party to mark the opening of the London 2012 Olympics. The new team attempt to rise to the challenge of inventing a new sport for their town's Olympic-inspired bash. Mentor Ore from MOTD Kickabout hopes they can do it.